Friday, May 5 – First Round
#1 Bellevue University 18, #8 Presentation College 7 (7 innings)
DICKINSON, ND (PlayNorthStar.com) – Top seed Bellevue University cruised to an 18-7 win during the opening round of the NSAA Baseball Tournament on Friday.
Nick Grade hit a pair of home runs – including a sixth-inning grand slam – as Bellevue defeated No. 8 seed Presentation College via run rule after seven innings.
Bellevue (42-8) advances to the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play at 4 p.m. MDT on Saturday. Presentation College (0-45) drops into loser-out action and will play at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Presentation College started the scoring on Friday pushing across a run in the top of the first inning on Evyn Booth’s two-out RBI single.
The Bruin responded quickly with seven runs in the bottom of the first inning, part of 12 straight runs scored by Bellevue. A two-run home run by Kanta Kobayashi in the third inning sparked a four-run inning as Bellevue built a 12-1 lead.
The Saints answered back with a big inning of their own, putting up six runs with two outs in the fifth inning. Ethan Leech and Kolby Wagatsuma both ripped two-run doubles and Matthew Womack capped the inning with a sharp two-run single to left field.
Bellevue scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 14-7 and then put the game out of reach with Grade’s grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Bellevue scored its 18 runs on 16 hits, while the Saints put up seven runs on nine hits.
Grade led the Bruin offense with a 3-for-3 day at the plate. He hit two home runs, scored four runs and drove in six. Anthony Lind was 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs while NSAA Player of the Year Kanta Kobayashi was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Jake Lacey collected three hits, and both Drew Staley and Mathieu Sirois had two hits for Bellevue.
Wolf’Don Thorson led the Saints at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run. Leech and Wagatsuma both doubled and drove in two runs, and Womack was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Alexandro Celiceo started on the mound for Bellevue and picked up the win with four strong innings. The righthander allowed just three hits and one run.
Ryan Powers started for Presentation College and was tagged with the loss.