Long balls power Bruins to win over PC to open NSAA Tournament

Todd Nicks' seventh inning grand slam secured a 10-4 BU victory on Friday afternoon
Todd Nicks' seventh inning grand slam secured a 10-4 BU victory on Friday afternoon

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Todd Nicks broke open a 5-4 game with a seventh inning grand slam to help the No. 2 Bellevue University baseball team to a 10-4 victory over Presentation at Jack Brown Stadium in the first round of the 2017 North Star Athletic Association Baseball Tournament.

With their 14th-straight overall victory and fifth-straight NSAA Tournament win Bellevue improves their overall mark to 48-7 on the season while Presentation saw their four-game win streak snapped as they fall to 14-36.

The game started out about as well as BU could have hope with the Bruins jumping out to a 4-0 lead courtesy of a pair of two-run home runs off the bats off Miles Campbell (7th HR) and Brandon Salmon (1st HR) in the second inning.

The scrappy Saints got a run back when Josh Youngchild went deep with one out in the third and pulled to within 4-2 on an RBI-double from Kyle Angielski that knocked in Anthony Guzman.

Back-to-back jacks from Angielski and Josh Tabor in the fifth inning tied the game at 4-4 and it appeared as the top-seeded Bruins may be in trouble.

A two-out, RBI-single from Matt Evans scored Salmon to restore the Bruin lead, 5-4.

That's where the game remained until the seventh inning.  After two of the first three BU batters were retired Derik Bontempo drew a walk and Riley Baasch was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Nicks who launched a grand slam to left field for his 13th home run of the season and a 9-4 Bellevue lead.

Bellevue tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Jake Browne singled in Campbell with a base hit to left.

Presentation went 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the game and see Bellevue remain unbeaten all-time in NSAA Tournament play.

Colten Barnes (W, 9-2) got the start and pitched five innings allowing four runs on 10 hits to earn the win. Reid Feeley (Save, 1) earned his first save with four innings of shutout ball in relief, scattering just four hits and striking out four.

Presentation's James Lewis took the loss despite six fairly effective innings on the bump. He allowed five runs on 11 hits.

With the victory, Bellevue advances to play the winner of the Jamestown-Dickson State game in a winner's bracket contest tomorrow at 2 p.m. Presentation will face the loser of the Jamestown-Dickinson State game in an elimination game tomorrow at 11 a.m.