JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Twice the Bellevue University baseball team used home runs to come from behind to defeat Valley City State University 8-6 in 11 innings on Friday afternoon in the first game of the 2018 North Star Athletic Association Baseball Tournament at the University of Jamestown's Jack Brown Stadium.
Bellevue improves to 34-21 with the victory and advances to play the winner of today's Jamestown-Viterbo game in a winner's bracket matchup tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Valley City State drops to 13-28 and will face the loser of Jamestown-Viterbo tomorrow at 11 a.m. in an elimination game.
#2 Bellevue 8, #7 Valley City State 6 (11 Innings)
JT Patterson launched a two-run home run, his second of the game, to tie things up at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh. Then, after VCSU, took a 6-5 lead in the 11th Riley Baasch lifted BU past the Vikings with a walk-off three-run shot.
Baasch upped his season home run total to 17 and Patterson improved his number to 13.
Bellevue struck first in the see-saw battle that saw a total of four lead changes, including the game-winning homer by Baasch.
Nate Soulis put the Vikings on the board with a two-run single in the second.
After a Matt Evans suicide squeeze tied things in the fourth, Patterson hit his first home run of the day. The solo shot to left-center put BU up 3-2.
Valley City tied the game in the sixth, went ahead on Emmanuel Leyva's home run leading off the seventh, and made it a two-run game on a Brennen Neva single later in the inning.
Colten Barnes (3-5) came in with a runner on in the 11th and, after a throwing error aided the Valley cause, avoided further harm to get BU to bat down just one.
Leyva again put the Vikings ahead in the 11th with a sac fly.
The Bruins were finally able to solve Valley City right-hander Max Koprek in the bottom of the 11th after he had allowed just one run in 8.2 innings against BU on the season until giving up the three-run home run.
Dylan Thorp struggled with a high early pitch count but kept BU close early on, working out of bases loaded jams in both the second and third innings. He was chased after 6.0+ innings; he allowed four runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked three.
Koprek (3-5) suffered the loss in relief of starter Andrew Hirsch. Hirsch went 6.1 innings allowing five runs on eight BU hits.