Northwestern Hands Bison 3-2 Defeat in 11 Innings
Release: March 15, 2013
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Northwestern overcame a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning and received a game-winning single from shortstop Trevor Stevens in the bottom of the 11th to claim a 3-2 walk-off victory over the North Dakota State baseball team on Friday evening.
Bison starting pitcher John Straka received a no-decision, throwing eight-plus innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits. Straka struck out seven Wildcat batters and only issued one walk, bringing his season totals to 35 strikeouts and three walks in 41 innings.
Senior Kyle Kingsley (0-2) was the losing pitcher after pitching 2 2/3 innings of relief.
Leach scored Kirk Kenneally with a squeeze bunt in the top of the fourth inning to give NDSU a 1-0 lead. Northwestern tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Stevens singled up the middle, stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Jack Havey.
The contest remained a 1-1 pitchers' duel between Straka and Northwestern starter Luke Farrell until the Bison manufactured a run in the top of the ninth to take a 2-1 lead. Jon Hechtner reached base on an infield single, moved to third on a single by Leach, and scored on a bunt single by junior left fielder Kyle Kleinendorst.
Northwestern (6-5) escaped the top of the ninth with Leach and Kleinendorst on base and proceeded to tie the contest with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Kingsley replaced Straka following a leadoff single and recorded two straight outs on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. With a 2-2 count, pinch hitter Zach Jones singled up the middle to score Kyle Ruchim and tie the game to force extra innings.
NDSU (7-8) stranded two runners in the top of the 10th, but Kingsley escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the 10th.
The Wildcats registered two singles off Kingsley in the bottom of the 11th before he was pulled for left-hander Jake Heck. Stevens' game-winning single made it through the left side of the infield, and Kleinendorst's throw to the plate was late.
Northwestern had 11 singles and no extra-base hits in the contest.
The Bison will play Army at 1 p.m. (CT) on Saturday in Winter Haven.