For the first time since 1997 the Northern State baseball team has clinched a berth in the NSIC Tournament thanks to its doubleheader sweep over U-Mary Wednesday afternoon out at Fossum Field. The Wolves took game one 4-3 and game two 13-3 in seven innings.
NSU improves its record to 27-14 overall on the year and is now 20-10 in the NSIC. With the victories today, the Wolves clinched at worst, the eighth-seed in next week’s tournament. If the season ended today the Wolves would be the No. 4 seed. Northern’s 27 wins this season are tied for the most since it went 27-16 back in 1992.
Mary got on the board first in game one in the top of the first inning with a sacrifice fly but NSU would knot it up in the bottom of the inning when Eric O’Bryan scored on a wild pitch. The Wolves got two more runs with RBI singles in the second from Nate Russell and Clayton Nutting to push the Wolves in front 3-1. After Mary tied things up in the third with two runs, Robbie Rocamora hit a game-winning home run to left field in the fifth inning to push the Wolves in front for good. It was Rocamora’s seventh bomb of the season.
Cody Johns got the start and the win for the Wolves in game one as he went the distance, allowing no earned runs on six hits while striking-out four and walking none in the game. Johns improves to 6-2 on the year.
A huge, 10-run seventh inning propelled the Wolves to its win in game two as the Wolves blasted nine hits in the inning and eventually ended the game in a “run rule” when Matt Stubbs scored on a wild pitch. Alex Cornwell and Buddy Traxler each had a pair of RBIs in the inning while Riley Shintaffer, Casey Bohms, O’Bryan and Rocamora also had RBI hits in the big inning.
In all, six Wolves had multiple-hit games in game two. Rocamora led the way going 3-for-4 at the dish while Cornwell had three RBI, and Shintaffer and Traxler had two. Stubbs scored three runs in the win.
Andrew Crisman picked up the win in game two for the Wolves as he came on in relief in the seventh inning for starter James Georgakas. Georgakas pitched six strong innings and allowed just one earned run off four hits while recording a pair of strikeouts.
Wednesday was also Senior Day at NSU as the Wolves honored Bohms, Crisman, Jonathan Feist, Kris Keating, Rocamora, Russell, Trevor Sporrer, Adam Thompson and Derek Tymesen in between games.
The Wolves finish up the regular season this weekend as they travel to Marshall, Minn., for a four-game series with the Mustangs of Southwest Minnesota. Doubleheaders will be played both Friday and Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
Courtesy: Northern State Kevin DeVries