Baseball picks up series win over Vikings

Lumus Russell hit his first home run of the season for BU in game three of today's triple-header
Lumus Russell hit his first home run of the season for BU in game three of today's triple-header

OMAHA, Neb. -- The Bellevue University baseball team wrapped up a 13-game home-stand with a pair of wins over Valley City State University in a North Star Athletic Association triple-header on Thursday afternoon at Westgate Field.

The Bruins (21-16, 8-3 NSAA) picked up wins of 7-0 and 17-0 to bookend an action-packed afternoon while the Vikings (8-18, 3-7 NSAA) claimed a 5-4 win in the middle game to avoid the sweep.

Bellevue wraps up their extended stretch of home games with a 10-3 record as they move to a season-best five games over the .500 mark.

Up Next:

Bellevue will travel to McPherson, Kan. on Sunday, Apr. 8 for a noon double-header against #25 Friends University (25-10) to be played at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Game One: Bellevue 7, Valley City State 0

Bellevue capitalized on six Viking errors by scoring five unearned runs en route to a 7-0 victory in game one of the series.

Bruin starter Reid Feeley (4-1) fired the complete game shutout, scattering nine hits while striking out eight and walking one.

After loading the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, Feeley wriggled himself out of trouble by inducing an infield fly and striking out pinch hitter Jorun Hamre to end the frame.

JT Patterson, who was 3-for-4 on the game, opened up the scoring with a two-run single in the fourth before coming around to score himself on an error later in the inning as BU took a 3-0 lead.

The Bruins scored four more times an inning later with errors plating a pair of runs, Austin Alexander singling home Brandon Salmon, and Patterson doubling in Alexander.

Nicholas Vargas (1-4) suffered the loss for the Vikings after allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits in 3.1 innings.

Game Two: Valley City State 5, Bellevue 4

In the tightest game of the day, Valley City used a five-run third inning to slip past the Bruins, 5-4, despite being limited to just three hits in the contest.

Bellevue got out front early with a three-run second inning. Hunter Kelly opened the scoring with an RBI-double to score Diego Iribarren. Kory Longaker and Austin Alexander also plated runs in the inning with a single and sac fly, respectively.

The lead wouldn't stand for long as Dylan Thorp (4-3), who breezed through the first two innings, lost his command after retiring the leadoff batter in the third. A base hit followed by four-straight walks saw VCSU cut the deficit to 3-2 before the second out could come. Then, Nate Soulis took a pitch up in the zone deep to the right-center gap for a bases-clearing double to chase Thorp from the game.

The Bruins scratched across a run in the bottom of the third on a sac fly from Iribarren but didn't manage another hit until the seventh inning which was immediately erased by a game-ending double play.

Max Koprek (3-1) threw five innings of relief to pick up the win. He limited Bellevue to just one run on two hits while striking out six and walking two.

Game Three: Bellevue 16, Valley City State 0

Bellevue sent 14 batters to the plate in the 10-run second inning as they put VCSU away early in a 16-0 victory to claim the series win.

In the frame Riley Baasch hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season.

The score remained at 10-0 until the fifth when Brandon Sparks singled in Lumus Russell.

Back-to-back home runs from Bailey Link and Russell in the sixth stretched the BU lead to 14-0. Link became the first true freshman to hit a home run for the Bruins under head coach Duane Monlux.

Sparks singled in another run in the sixth and Baasch added an RBI-double to complete the scoring.

In total, 11 different Bruins recorded a hit in the game with Kory Longaker, Sparks, and Baasch each picking up a pair of base knocks.

Mitch Savine (1-1) picked up his first win as a Bruin after pitching a scoreless fourth inning.

Brady Engebretson (1-2) was dealt the loss for Valley City State.