Bruins walk off in NSAA Tourney Opener

JT Patterson was 2-5 with a pair of home runs and three RBI in the Bruins’ NSAA Tournament victory over Valley City on Saturday
JT Patterson was 2-5 with a pair of home runs and three RBI in the Bruins’ NSAA Tournament victory over Valley City on Saturday

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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.

BU struck first when Stuart Eurich singled in Kory Longaker in the opening frame.

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.

Brandon Desjardins and Max Dwyer performed well out of the 'pen, combining to hold the Vikings to just one earned run on one hit in four innings before turning the ball over to Barnes.

Koprek (3-5) suffered the loss in relief of starter Andrew Hirsch. Hirsch went 6.1 innings allowing five runs on eight BU hits.