Jeff Kolpack, Published April 30 2013
Bison baseball beats WinnipegFARGO – There was still snow to be melted in the Newman Outdoor Field stands and North Dakota State’s opponent, the University of Winnipeg, went back to a few inches of snow in Canada Tuesday night. Old Man Winter is still being a pain.
But at least the Bison got in their home opener over a month later than scheduled. In a typical non-conference mid-week game where teams like NDSU typically don’t use their top-line pitchers until the late innings, the Bison won 7-6.
They’ll take it.
“It was awesome to be home,” said center fielder Tim Colwell. “The conditions were not ideal but it’s great to have the opener. It was a great experience.”
The best part for the home team was it was an official game. Winnipeg, which is not affiliated with the NCAA, still counted as a regular season game because the Wesmen play most of their games against four-year schools in the United States.
It put NDSU at 18-17 overall heading into a key four-game Summit League series with Oakland University (Mich.) Friday through Sunday at Newman. It’s getting late in the year, but the Bison would like to find some hot bats.
“Baseball is a game where you need to play every day,” said NDSU head coach Tod Brown. “We have just not had the outside reps. We’re hoping that in the next month we’ll swing the bats like we’re capable of.”
A young team that started three freshmen on Tuesday, the lack of consistent outdoor practice is not what the Bison needed. The offense is usually where layoffs are felt and NDSU came in hitting .268 as a team, down from the .284 in the 40-win season of a year ago.
That group had six players over .300 led by Colwell’s .381. He had two hits Tuesday night to improve to .303.
“We’re not going to make excuses,” Colwell said of the weather. “We’re working at it. We’re not quite there yet but we’re working.”
The Bison weathered eight walks, but still led 7-6 when closer Kyle Kingsley took the mound in the eighth inning. He shut the door striking out four of the six batters he faced to drop Winnipeg to 6-10.
“He’s a special pitcher for us,” Brown said.
Winnipeg 100 012 200 – 6 11 2
NDSU 101 122 00 x –7 13 1
Loewen, Worb (6) and Drews. VanderWoude, Mayo (3), Lambrecht (5), Trewin (6), Anderson (7), Kingsley (8) and Leach. W–Mayo (1-0). L–Loewen (3-2).
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found