Bruins down Blue Hawks, see lead slip away late against Comets

Dylan Thorp fired a complete game three-hitter to down the Blue Hawks in the opener
Dylan Thorp fired a complete game three-hitter to down the Blue Hawks in the opener

OMAHA, Neb. -- In yet another weather-adjusted double-header the Bellevue University baseball team split a pair of North Star Athletic Association games on Thursday at John Stella Field at Brown Park.

The Bruins (23-19, 9-4 NSAA) took down Dickinson State (2-22, 1-13 NSAA), 7-1, in the opener before seeing their one-run seventh inning lead fall by the wayside in a 4-3 to Mayville State (21-8, 11-1 NSAA) in the nightcap.

BU will meet the same two teams again tomorrow beginning with Dickinson at 11 a.m. and Mayville State approximately a half hour following the conclusion of the first game.

Game One: Bellevue 7, Dickinson State 1

Dylan Thorp retired the final 13 hitters he faced as he logged a complete game victory for BU in the Bruins' first game on Thursday.

Thorp (5-3) encountered some early trouble as three of the first four batters he faced reached base allowing Dickinson State to snag an early 1-0 lead. The senior southpaw settled down from there as he recorded 20 outs via the ensuing 19 batters.

Kooper Ray (0-3) looked solid on the hill early for the Blue Hawks as he cruised through the first 2.2 innings without much trouble. However, Kory Longaker reached on catcher's interference to prolong the third inning before Riley Baasch sent a deep drive over the wall in left. JT Patterson followed up with a towering shot to right to put Bellevue up 3-1.

The score would remain there until the Bruins busted things open with a four-run fifth inning. Gary Dixon drew a bases loaded walk and Travis Tanaka plated Baasch with a sac fly before Brandon Sparks came through with a double down the right field line to score two more Bruins.

Baasch and Patterson each had two-hit games as the duo hit their ninth and eighth home runs of the season, respectively.

Game Two: Mayville State 4, Bellevue 3

The second game of the day was a nail-biter throughout that saw the lead see-saw back and forth before Mayville State came out on top, 4-3.

Bellevue had numerous early chances as they stranded five runners through the game's first three innings but were only able to score once in the third.

Mayville State answered back in the home half with a pair of runs to go up 2-1 on a John Pluth single to score Riley Nelson.

The Bruins reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning when JT Patterson scored Kory Longaker with a grounder to short and Gary Dixon singled through the hole on the left side to chase in Riley Baasch.

The Comets threated to tie or go ahead in the sixth as they loaded the bases with three-straight singles to open the frame. However, Brady Nygaard lined back to BU starting pitcher Reid Feeley who tossed over to first for a double play. Pinch-hitter Obie Wilder then grounded to third for the final out of the inning as BU escaped with the lead.

In search of an insurance run in the seventh Bellevue put a runner on second on Longaker's second stolen base of the day as the result of a failed pickoff attempt. A strikeout and ground out prevented Bellevue from scoring and the game advanced to the bottom of the seventh.

Riley Nelson led off the frame with a single to third and took second on a wild pitch. A single from Andrew Hill through the left side put runners on the corners with one out. John Pluth then sent a fly ball to right to score Nelson with the game-tying run. After issuing an intentional walk to JQ Folena the Bruins went to their bullpen. The first batter that closer Max Dwyer faced, Zachary Foster, sent a fly ball to deep left that reached the wall allowing Hill to come around for the game-winning run.

Mason Swegarden (5-1) went the distance to earn the win for the Comets. He limited BU to just three runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out five and issued just one free pass.

Reid Feeley (4-2) threw well but took the loss allowing four runs on 10 hits over 6.2 innings of work.