BU romps past Jimmies, now one win from NSAA Title Game

Diego Iribarren turned in a four-hit game on Saturday to help Bellevue past Jamestown
Diego Iribarren turned in a four-hit game on Saturday to help Bellevue past Jamestown

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The No. 2 Bellevue University baseball team again played home run derby at Jack Brown Stadium as four different Bruins hit home runs to send Bellevue cruising past the University of Jamestown, 17-4, in North Star Athletic Association Tournament action on UJ's campus on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory Bellevue improves to 49-7 overall and now needs just one victory to advance to Monday's NSAA Championship Game. Jamestown falls to 37-18 overall and will face an elimination game at 6:45 p.m. against Dickinson State.

The winner of the Jamestown-Dickinson State match-up advances to play the Bruins on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Valley City, N.D. A single victory by BU or two wins by UJ or DSU over Bellevue will qualify that team for Monday afternoon's Championship Game.

Riley Baasch put the Bruins on the board first with a second inning solo home run, his seventh of the year, to the opposite field.

NSAA Player of the Year Derik Bontempo one-upped Baasch with his team-leading 17th homer, a two-run shot, an inning later to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

A Jake Browne fielder's choice in the fourth pushed the Bruin advantage to 4-0. Miles Campbell and Matt Evans each delivered two-run singles in the fifth with a Diego Iribarren one-run base hit sandwiched between making it 9-0 in favor of Bellevue.

Jamestown got a pair of runs back in each the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth Christian Shouman and Landon Uetz provided run-scoring plays courtesy of a single and fielder's choice, respectively. Alex Sablan drove a two-run homer to right in the sixth as the Jimmies got as close as 9-4.

Browne quelled any momentum gained by Jamestown in the previous innings with his two-out, two-run home run in the seventh. The home run was the fourth of the season for the Gold Glove catcher.

Bellevue tacked on six more runs in the final inning with Evans driving in one on a single to short, Bontempo batting in two on a base knock to left, and Joe Moran leaving the yard for the fifth time this season with a three-run shot to right.

NSAA Pitcher of the Year Ben McKendall (W, 9-0) earned the complete-game victory to stay unbeaten on the year with another strong performance on the hill. He fanned 10 and limited Jamestown's potent offense to four runs on eight hits.

Fellow all-NSAA first teamer Jerome Byndloss (L, 12-1) suffered his first defeat on the mound after being lit up for nine runs on eight hits over just 4.1 innings of work. The UJ bullpen hardly fared better as two relievers were taxed for eight runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings.