VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- Led by the solid pitching of Todd Nicks and the monster day at the plate from Joe Mancuso, the top-seeded Bellevue University baseball team recorded an 11-0 shutout victory over Waldorf University Saturday afternoon at Charlie Brown Stadium in the North Star Athletic Association Tournament.
The win advanced the Bruins into the championship game of Bracket A. Bellevue will meet the winner of the Valley City State/Waldorf elimination game on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Jamestown, N.D.
Bellevue improved to 45-9 on the season with the victory. Waldorf fell to 18-32 overall.
Mancuso finished the game 4-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs as the Bruins pounded out 17 hits on the day.
Nicks (9-1) limited the Warriors to five hits, while striking out 14 and walking one in eight innings on the mound.
Derik Bontempo also continued his impressive offense in the tournament, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a home run.
The Bruins scored three runs on five hits, including back-to-back homers by Bontempo and Mancuso, to give BU an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Waldorf put together its first real threat in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jacob Tedesco was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Jimmy Quirk followed with a single through the left side to put two runners on. Tedesco and Quirk moved to second and third on a wild pitch with no outs, but Nicks struck out the next three batters to work out of the jam with no damage.
Neither team scored again until Mancuso ignited the Bruin offense with a grand slam in BU's six-run seventh inning, pushing the lead to 9-0.
Waldorf threatened again in the bottom of the seventh after loading the bases with one out. But Nicks worked out of the jam unscathed by striking out the final two batters to end the inning.
Bellevue made it 11-0 in the ninth on a two-run single up the middle by Kevin Rodriguez.
Notable Tournament Statitstics:
Mancuso is 5-for-7 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Bontempo is 6-for-9 with two home runs and seven RBIs
Colton Nash is 5-for-8 with three RBIs and a double.