ST. PAUL, Minn. – North Central baseball headed across town to face off against conference rival University of Northwestern. The doubleheader began play two days later than originally scheduled due to weather. The Rams put up strong numbers at the plate, but the Eagles found a way to force extra innings in the first matchup winning 8-7, and held on in the second game to win 7-5.
In Game 1, Brandon Scott and Bryce Riege each had a strong day at the plate, combining to contribute seven hits and five RBI. NCU got on the board early with three runs in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Riege hit his first RBI of the game with a single. Jared High and Eli Valder each followed with an RBI to get the Rams out front by three.
Scott bolstered the lead with a double that drove in the only two runs of the frame. His third RBI occurred from a single in the top of the ninth. Scott finished 4-6 in hitting with three RBI. Riege then drove Scott home with a double to right field, and he finished the game 3-5 at the plate with two RBI. Riege additionally had a strong day on the mound for North Central. He pitched eight innings while giving up four hits and three runs while striking out five Eagle batters.
Going into the bottom of the ninth, NCU held a 7-3 lead. UNW was able to take advantage of a pitching change and scored four runs, three of which were a result of back-to-back home runs. The game would extend to the 11th inning tied 7-7. The Eagles found the winning run when Brett Reinhart singled and brought home the base runner from second base.
In Game 2, the Rams once again got on the scoreboard first when Scott batted Cory Kukkola home despite grounding out to the shortstop. At the top of the fifth inning, North Central found themselves down 5-1. Jared High got one base with a leadoff single, and after two straight walks, the bases were loaded. Two runs came across home plate on an error in right field off of what was supposed to be a sacrifice fly from Blazsen Ferreira. Scott tied the game at five runs each, when he singled to left field driving in the fourth run in the inning. The Rams could not find more offense the rest of the game, while UNW hit in the winning points with a two RBI double in the bottom of the sixth frame.
After the strong day at the plate, Brandon Scott now leads the team with a .397 hitting percentage, 23 hits and 13 RBI. Scott finished the day with a combined five hits and five RBI.
Next up, North Central University (1-16, 0-6 UMAC) will be on the road when they face UMAC opponent Martin Luther College (4-14, 0-4 UMAC) for an afternoon doubleheader Wednesday April 19th. The scheduled first pitch is set for 1:30PM in New Ulm, Minn.