Bruins grind out extra-inning win to reach NSAA Championship

Stephen Knapp scattered six hits and didn’t allow an earned run in seven innings on the hill
Stephen Knapp scattered six hits and didn’t allow an earned run in seven innings on the hill

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JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Jamestown tied the game on a ninth inning error but Bellevue's Brandon Sparks scored on a passed ball in extra innings as the Bellevue University baseball team grinded out a 3-2 10-inning victory in North Star Athletic Association Tournament at Jamestown's Jack Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Bellevue improves to 36-21 and will play for their third conference tournament championship in four seasons. The Bruins will meet the winner of Presentation-Mayville State tomorrow with the NSAA's automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament on the line. The winner-take-all contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.

The Jimmies see their record dip to 41-9 and will await word of their post-season fate when the NAIA National Tournament field is announced next week.

(RV) Bellevue 3, #18 Jamestown 2 (10 Innings)

Pinch-runner Brandon Sparks scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th to walk BU off with a 3-2 win and eliminate Jamestown.

Jamestown scored in the fourth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. BU starter Stephen Knapp escaped the inning by allowing just one run to score – on a ground ball double play – and inducing a foul out to end the frame.

Knapp didn't factor in the decision but turned in a great performance, logging seven innings of six-hit ball in which he didn't allow an earned run.

Austin Alexander hit a two-run home run to center to give Bellevue the lead in the bottom half of the inning and that's where the score remained until the ninth.

In the final frame the Jimmies loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter against Bruin closer Max Dwyer with two outs. Dwyer appeared to be ready to get out of the inning but a fielding error allowed the tying run to cross the plate.

Alexander led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit and took second on a sac bunt from Diego Iribarren. Pinch-hitter Hunter Kelly singled to right and Alexander was waved home but thrown out at the plate for the second out to preserve the tie game and, ultimately, force extra innings.

Junior Ramirez (3-3) struck out the side in the top of the 10th to earn the win in relief.

Nick Torres (3-1) took the loss for Jamestown after allowing a run in the home half.

Riley Baasch drew a walk to lead off the 10th for BU and yielded first base to Sparks who was sacrificed to second by JT Patterson. A deep fly ball from Brandon Salmon moved Sparks to third and, on the first pitch to Stuart Eurich, scored on a passed ball to end the game and send Bellevue to Monday's Championship Game.