DICKINSON, ND (PlayNorthStar.com) [BASEBALL] – Top-seeded Bellevue (Neb.) used a late surge to break a 7-7 tie for a 9-7 victory, thanks to Mathieu Sirois’ solo home run and Drew Staley’s RBI single in the bottom seventh to hold off fourth-seeded Mayville State (N.D.) in the championship game of the North Star Athletic Association baseball postseason tournament. The postseason tournament was being held at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark, hosted by Dickinson State (N.D.).
The Bruins captured the conference tournament’s title for the second straight year – their fifth NSAA tournament title in school history, raising their overall record to 45-8. BU, ranked No. 5 in the latest NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Top 25 national poll, had secured the league’s automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball National Tournament’s Opening Round where they will host on May 15-18 at Don Roddy Field.
The Comets’ run in the conference postseason tournament came to an end and finished their season with an overall record of 24-24. The defeat also ended the legendary long-time head coach Scott Berry for over 40 years at Mayville State.
Bellevue opened with a 2-run lead in the bottom first inning, highlighted by an RBI single from Logan Grant.
Grant added a 2-RBI single with two outs in the bottom second as the Bruins’ lead grew to 4-0.
Kole Jessamine blasted a 3-run home run in the top third inning as Mayville State trimmed their deficit to 4-3, his second home run of the day (hit a home run earlier Monday in an elimination game versus Dakota State, S.D.).
The Comets would tie the game in the fourth inning, thanks to Marcus Hughes’ triple and scored home after BU’s wild pitch.
Mayville State earned their first lead of the game in the top sixth inning as they produced three singles. Carson Lundmark collected an RBI as MSU took a 5-4 lead, forcing the Bruins to change pitcher.
Bellevue would answer with three runs in the bottom sixth inning after a two-out 2-RBI single by Grant to regain their lead to 7-5.
Adam Senden hit a 2-RBI singles with two outs as the Comets tied the game at 7-7 in the top seventh.
Sirois hit a go-ahead solo home run as the Bruins earned an 8-7 lead in the bottom eight. Staley added an RBI single to extend their lead to 9-7.
Parker McMan (W, 4-3) picked up the victory on the pitching mound for Bellevue, shutting down the Comets in the final three innings.
Mayville State poured in 14 hits in the game compared to Bellevue 13 hits. Both left 10 runners on base.
Grant finished the game by going 3-of-5 at the plate, collecting a game-high five RBIs. Sirois added four hits, scored three times, and recorded an RBI. Kanta Kobayashi and Staley each added two hits and an RBI.
Easton Brinton started the game for the Bruins, working five innings and allowing three runs on six hits. Kenji Miller and Jared Eifler each pitched in relief.
Hughes and Jared McCorrister each fueled the Comets’ offense attack with three hits each. Jessamine added two hits and tallied three RBIs. Senden had two RBIs.
Conner Cory pitched five innings for Mayville State. He allowed seven runs (four unearned) on eight hits. Gregor Farquharson worked for one inning in relief. Senden (L, 0-1) took the defeat after tossing two outs, giving up two runs on two hits. Jessamine pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.
DICKINSON, ND (PlayNorthStar.com) [SOFTBALL] – Second-seeded Valley City State (N.D.) and top-seeded Bellevue (Neb.) met in the North Star Athletic Association Softball Postseason Tournament title for the second straight year Monday at Bravera Field. The Vikings, who were undefeated in the tournament before entering the championship game, scored at least a run in the first four innings, and held off the Bruins by the score of 7-3.
VCSU (28-21 overall record) made a return trip to the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round, which is set for May 15-17. Bellevue fell to 41-12 overall record and awaits to see from the national office if they will receive an at-large invitation.
The Bruins took the first lead of the game, thanks to Sami Reding’s lead-off walk followed by two stolen bases. Ashley Young hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Reding for 1-0 BU lead.
Valley City State answered with two runs for a 2-1 lead in the bottom first after a two-out RBI double by Sierra Crocker.
Riley Perryman blasted a 3-run home run in the bottom second frame as the Vikings’ lead grew to 5-1 and never trailed in the game.
Reese Floro produced a two-out RBI single in the top third as BU trailed 5-2. VCSU added a run in the bottom third after an RBI sacrifice fly by Andrea Rodriguez, scoring Alyssa DePoorter who led off with a double for a 6-2 lead.
Perryman drilled an RBI double in in the bottom fourth to widen VCSU’s lead to 7-2.
Bellevue’s comeback attempt in the top seventh inning saw one run scored, where Katie Cunningham and Mya Montero hit back-to-back singles with two outs. Reding followed up with an RBI double to trim VCSU’s lead to 7-3.
The Vikings’ defense ended BU’s scoring opportunity, securing their second consecutive trip to the national tournament.
Joelle Lamontagne (W, 12-8) pitched a complete game victory for Valley City State, giving up three runs on seven hits. She registered four strikeouts.
Perryman drove in four runs for the Vikings from her home run and a double. Crocker added a double and two RBIs. Ashlynne Copinga, Marissa Hawkins, DePoorter, and Makenee Stone each provided a hit.
Reding finished the game with a double, single, and an RBI for Bellevue. Floro added a hit and an RBI. Liana McMurtry collected a double. Lauren Jurek, Cunningham, and Montero each had a hit.
Jurek (L 14-3) took the defeat in the pitching circle, working for five total innings, allowing three unearned runs on four hits. Cunningham pitched one inning in relief.