Bison Win League Opener at Western Illinois, 8-1
Release: April 13, 2012
MACOMB, Ill. - Zach Wentz went 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead North Dakota State to an 8-1 win at Western Illinois in Summit League baseball Friday, April 13, at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.
Wentz drove in the eventual winning run with a fifth-inning single as the Bison (23-7, 1-0) took advantage of two Western Illinois errors to score three runs and go ahead 4-0.
Another RBI single by Wentz in the sixth scored Casper after a leadoff single, and the Bison went up 8-0 in the eighth when Nick Colwell hit a two-run double and scored on Wentz's double.
Straka held Western Illinois (10-19-1, 1-4-0) to five singles over the first six innings and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh before the Leathernecks broke through in the eighth.
Austin Cowen hit a one-out single, went to third on a two-out hit by Steve Kedroski and scored on Tom Lilja's single to center field to chase Straka after 115 pitches.
Kingsley got a fielder's choice to end the eighth and allowed a one-out single in the ninth before getting a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The Bison led 1-0 when Western Illinois threatened to tie or go ahead in the fourth. Lilja and Ryan Cowhey bounced back-to-back singles through the infield, but Straka got Brent Turner on a called strike three to end it.
NDSU led 5-0 before the Leathernecks threatened again in the sixth. Matt Igara got hit by a pitch and moved up on Kedroski's single and a fly ball before a foul popup ended the frame.
Cowen, Kedroski, Lilja and Cowhey each had two hits apiece for Western Illinois. Starter Rich Mascheri (1-6) allowed five runs, one earned, on eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in the loss.
North Dakota State and Western Illinois are scheduled to continue the series with a 12 p.m. doubleheader Saturday, April 14, and the series finale is scheduled for 12 p.m. Sunday, April 15.