OMAHA, Neb. - The Dakota State University baseball team returned back to action Monday afternoon at the Westgate Field, visiting the nationally-ranked Bellevue (Neb.). The Trojans fell short in both games as the Bruins held on to 2-0 and 5-3 victories.
Dakota State lost their fourth straight game and dropped their overall record to 8-23. Bellevue, No. 10 in the latest NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, extended their winning streak to nine games and lifted their overall record to 35-6-1.
Game 1 - #10 Bellevue (Neb.) 2, Dakota State (S.D.) 0 - BOX SCORE
Dakota State was unable to convert their scoring opportunity in the top second inning as they left two runners on base.
The Bruins scored twice in the bottom second frame to earn their first lead of the game. Nate Mullins opened with a single. He advanced to second base on a stolen base. Dusty Kerns reached on base with a walk. Brian Embery recorded a sacrifice bunt to advance Mullins to third base and Kerns to second base. Andy Smolinski hit a 2-RBI double with two outs to score Mullins and Kerns to give BU a 2-0 lead.
Bellevue ended the game in the top seventh inning with a double play to seal the victory.
Andy Lee was 2-for-3 at the plate with two singles for the Trojans. Ryan Bourcier and Chaz Palmer each added a single. Bourcier and Palmer each had a walk.
Smolinski had a double and two RBIs for BU. Mullins had two singles and swiped one base. Mullins and Kerns each had a run scored.
Dakota State left five runners on base. Bellevue had four runners left on base.
Kevin Madera (1-4) recorded the loss on the pitching mound for DSU. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Madera recorded four strikeouts.
Kyle Kinman (6-2) tossed a complete game victory for the Bruins. He gave up four hits. Kinman struck out 10 DSU's batters.
Game 2 - #10 Bellevue (Neb.) 5, Dakota State (S.D.) 3 - BOX SCORE
Bellevue exploded for five runs in the bottom second inning. With bases loaded and no outs situation for BU, Smolinski hit an RBI fielder's choice to earn a 1-0 lead. The Bruins made it 2-0 caused by DSU's defensive error. Ryan Knutz and Kinman each added an RBI single to extend Bellevue's lead to 4-0. The Bruins grew their lead to 5-0 after a defensive miscue by the Trojans.
Dakota State answered back with three runs scored in the top third frame. Evan Tufvesson hit a single to open the third inning. Kyle Holland reached on base by a walk. Tufvesson and Holland each advanced one base caused by BU's defensive error.Rays Roman recorded an RBI sacrifice fly to score Tufvesson for Trojans' first run of the game (advanced Holland to third base). Madera reached on base by Bruins' defensive miscue and scored Holland to reduce DSU's deficit to 5-2. Bourcier hit an RBI double to score Madera to cut BU's lead to 5-3.
Roman and Madera hit back-to-back singles to open the top seventh inning. The Trojans was hit into double play. DSU was unable to score in the final inning as BU secured the game by a strikeout.
Bourcier had a double and an RBI for the Trojans. Roman and Madera each had two singles and an RBI. Palmer and Tufvesson each had a hit. Holland, Madera and Tufvesson each had a run scored.
Kinman and Tanner Moore each had two hits for Bellevue. Knutz, Kerns and Embery each had a single. Knutz, Kinman, Smolinski and Elijah Dickerson each recorded an RBI. Zack Clark, Robert Carrasquillo and Dickerson each swiped one base.
Both teams had seven hits in the game. BU committed four errors while DSU had three errors.
Dakota State left eight runners on base. The Bruins had four runners left on base.
Michael Crain (1-2) recorded the loss for the Trojans. He started the game and allowed five runs (one unearned) on five hits in two innings. Drew Sweeter worked for four innings in relief. He limited the Burins to two hits. Sweeter struck out four BU's batters.
Sean McManus started the game for Bellevue. He pitched the first 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (one unearned) on five hits. Sean Felt (1-0) notched the victory in relief as he tossed 3 2/3 innings (pitched the first two batters in the top seventh inning with no outs). He gave up two hits and recorded seven strikeouts. Moore picked up his sixth save of the season as he shut down the Trojans.
Dakota State looks to end their losing streak Wednesday afternoon as they play a doubleheader at the Bishop Mueller Field in Sioux City, Iowa. The Trojans visit Briar Cliff (Iowa), a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. First game of the doubleheader is slated to start at 2 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director