Bruins pick up third-straight NSAA series sweep

Derik Bontempo was 5-for-6 on the day with a pair of home runs and five RBI
Derik Bontempo was 5-for-6 on the day with a pair of home runs and five RBI

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The No. 5 Bellevue University baseball team remained unbeaten in North Star Athletic Association play with a pair of victories over Dakota State University on Saturday afternoon at Don Roddy Field on the campus of Bellevue East High School. Bellevue, following a pair of victories on Friday, secured the series win with a 17-3 victory in seven innings in game three of the series and earned the sweep with a 13-1 triumph in the series finale.

With a pair of victories Bellevue improves to 33-6 overall and 12-0 in NSAA play on the year while running their historic win streak to 26 games. That streak is the longest regular-season win streak in program history and the second-longest all-time win streak in program history. Dakota State falls to 1-19 overall and 1-11 in conference play on the season.

The Bruins will look for their 27th-straight win on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in Sioux City, Iowa when they take on Morningside College. A win in that game would tie the program record for consecutive wins which was set by the 2004 team.

Game One: Bellevue 17, Dakota State 3 (7 Inn.)

Bellevue spotted Dakota State a 3-0 lead in the second inning but scored 17 unanswered runs to pick up the series victory against the Trojans.

Things looked good in the early going for Dakota State as Juan Sermo opened the scoring with a single to left that brought home Connor Nagel. Then, three batters later, Andrew Hesse lined a two-run double just out of the reach of first baseman Riley Baasch to stake the Trojans to a 3-0 advantage.

In the bottom half of the second Alec Chaney put Bellevue on the board with his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left field.

After setting down Dakota State in the top of the third, BU erupted in the bottom half, scoring five times to grab a 6-3 lead. Derik Bontempo singled in a run, Riley Baasch drove in two with a base hit, Colin Rubino scored on a wild pitch, and Diego Iribarren drove in the final run of the inning with a ground out.

BU padded their lead with four more runs an inning later courtesy of Todd Nicks' RBI-triple, Joe Moran's RBI-single, Baasch scoring on a wild pitch, and Iribarren singling home another run.

Bontempo's sac fly in the fifth scored Brandon Salmon from second base and Matt Evans came in when Nicks reached on an error to push the BU lead to 12-3.

The Bruins added to their lead with a five-run sixth inning that saw Blake Macdonald deliver a sac fly, John King double home a pair of runs, Nicks double in King, and Hunter Robson plate Nicks with a run-scoring single to account for the 17-3 final.

Nicks (W, 7-2), working without his best stuff, muscled his way through five innings to pick up the win for the Bruins. He allowed five runs on four hits but did manage to strike out six batters. Dylan Thorp threw two perfect innings of relief, setting down all six batters he faced via strikeout.

Trey Randel (L, 0-3) suffered the loss after being chased in the fourth inning. He allowed 10 runs on seven hits and six walks.

Game Two: Bellevue 13, Dakota State 1

Derik Bontempo hit two home runs to cap off another impressive week and help the Bruins to a 13-1 win and a series sweep of the visiting Trojans.

Bontempo put BU on the board early with his first home run coming in the second inning. He hit a ball that sliced down the line that just tucked inside the foul pole and landed over the fence to stake the Bruins to a 1-0 lead.

Bellevue used a six-run second inning to create some distance between them and their adversaries. Two runs scored on Diego Iribarren's bunt single and the subsequent throwing error and Iribarren came in to score on Miles Campbell's sac fly to short. Matt Evans singled home another run before Bontempo delivered a knock-out blow with a moon shot over the batter's eye to straightaway center field that brought home two.

Evans added another RBI-single in the fourth to make it 8-0 in favor of the home side.

The fifth inning again saw the Bruins hang a crooked number with Joe Moran scoring on a wild pitch, Campbell adding another sac fly, Jake Browne driving in a run with a sac fly, and Todd Nicks chasing home two runs with a screaming double to right-center.

Dakota State avoided the shutout when Connor Nagel clubbed a home run to right center in the sixth inning.

Bruin starter Colten Barnes (W, 5-2) was terrific on the hill as he scattered just four hits over six innings of work. He struck out 10 and walked just one while the lone run he allowed came on Nagel's homer. Brett Franklin worked a scoreless seventh to preserve the victory.

Justin Mettling (L, 0-1) went the distance and took the loss on the bump for Dakota State.