COON RAPIDS, Minn. – The North Central Rams baseball team returned home on a chilly afternoon for a UMAC doubleheader versus University of Minnesota-Morris. NCU kept the score low and close during each match up, but ultimately came up short losing 6-5 in 11 innings and 6-4.
Brandon Scott continues to find success at the plate, and has now extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Scott leads the team in several categories that include a .374 hitting percentage, 34 hits, 21 RBI, and eight doubles. Today he went 2 for 6 in game one, and 1 for 2 with 2 RBI in game two.
Game 1 went down to the wire and needed extra innings to determine a winner. Scoring became a premium for each team as each team found points in only four innings each. Going into the bottom of the eighth, the Rams were down 5-2. Cory Kukkola sparked energy into North Central's offense with a long shot hit to center field that resulted in a triple, his second on the year. Blazsen Ferreira followed with a RBI single bringing Kukkola home. Bryce Riege got the other score of the frame in with a RBI single of his own.
NCU was able to force the game into extra innings in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs. Morris shortstop committed a fielding error that allowed Taylor Justice to score the tying run. With two runners still in scoring position, a fly out to center prevented the Rams from scoring the winning run. Morris hit the eventual winning run in the top of the 11th inning.
North Central came up short in their comeback attempt in the first match up, but the Cougars found a way to complete a comeback of their own in the second game. The Rams built up a lead of 4-2 by the sixth from two Scott RBI singles in the third and fifth innings, a Morris error in the fifth, and Robert Donohoe hit a RBI double in the sixth.
In the eighth, the Cougar offense found their stride when they connected on four hits, scoring four runs in the process. The momentum gained on offense carried over to the pitcher's mound for Morris. NCU could not find a crack in the defense, and did not tally another hit the remaining two innings to make a comeback.
Next up, North Central University (4-23, 2-10 UMAC) will play host to conference opponent Bethany Lutheran College (16-15, 8-4 UMAC) for a mid-week doubleheader, Wednesday, May 3rd. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:30 PM at Wintercrest Park in Coon Rapids, Minn.