DICKINSON, N.D. (NSAA) – Top-seeded Bellevue (Neb.) won the battle of pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon, advancing to the North Star Athletic Association Baseball Championship game Monday afternoon with a 7-1 victory over No. 2 seed Dakota State (S.D.). The baseball postseason tournament is being played at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.
Blake Crippen (W, 9-2) propelled the Bruins (44-8 overall record) to a complete game, yielding the Trojans to one run on six hits. JD Kirchner (L, 7-3) took the defeat after tossing 8 2/3 innings for Dakota State, who is set to play in the loser’s out game Monday morning at 11 a.m. (MT) versus the winner of Sunday’s evening contest between Dickinson State (N.D.) and Mayville State (N.D.).
BU earned the first lead of the game after Tradd Richardson’s two-out RBI double in the top second inning.
DaSU answered with a run in the bottom half of the second inning as Hakeem Yatim hit an RBI single. The Trojans were unable to gain the lead after leaving the bases full when the second inning ended.
Bellevue regained their lead at 2-1 in the top third, thanks to Kanta Kobayashi lead-off double followed by Drew Staley’s single. Logan Grant produced an Rbi ground out to score Kobayashi.
After trading zeros for the next four innings, the Bruins plated two runs in the top eighth. Anthony Lind hit a 2-RBI single as the Bruins’ lead grew to 4-1.
Grant and Nick Grade hit a pair of RBI doubles and scored another run to make it 7-1 in favor of Bellevue.
The Bruins hit four doubles in the game with Kobayashi, Grant, Grade, and Richardson each with one double. Grant and Lind each drove in two runs.
Mason Macaluso finished the game with two hits for the Trojans. Chris Burke and Dawson Portner each tallied a single. Yatim collected a hit and an RBI.