OMAHA, Neb. -- The 18th-ranked Bellevue University baseball team saw its winning streak run to nine games Friday after sweeping visiting Northwestern (Iowa) College in non-conference action at Westgate Field. The Bruins pulled out a dramatic 7-6 win in 12 innings in the opener before taking the nightcap, 11-4.
Bellevue improved to 16-6 on the season with the two wins. NWC fell to 9-8 overall.
The two teams will complete the four-game series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Westgate Field.
Game 1: Bellevue 7, Northwestern 6 (12 innings)
The Bruins overcame a 5-1 deficit, used a solo home run to force extra innings and won with a bases-loaded passed ball in the bottom of the 12th inning, to escape with the 7-6 win in the opener.
Bellevue took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double to center field by Jake Browne in the bottom of the second. NWC quickly responded in the top of the third with a RBI single down the left-field line by Matthew Martin, tying the game at 1-1.
The Red Raiders plated four runs on five hits in the top of the fourth to take a 5-1 advantage. Joseph Done, Casey Guthmiller and Martin all drove in runs in the inning. The Bruins countered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth as Miles Campbell, Matt Evans and Derik Bontempo drove in runs to knot the contest at 5-5.
NWC took the lead at 6-5 in the top of the eighth, scoring on a Bruin fielding error by first baseman Todd Nicks.
Lumus Russell tied the game with a solo shot over the center field fence in the bottom of the ninth frame, sending the game into extra innings, tied at 6-6.
Neither team threatened again until the Bruins loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 12th inning and scored on a passed ball to take the marathon 7-6 victory.
Anthony Contonio (2-0), who entered the game in the top of the 11th, was credited with the win after not allowing a baserunner and striking out three batters in two innings of work.
Game 2: Bellevue 11, Northwestern 4
The Bruins used three big innings and solid pitching to cruise to the 11-4 win in the nightcap. BU scored three runs in the first and fifth innings and four in the sixth to complete the sweep. The Bruin pitching staff recorded 17 strikeouts in the victory.
Joe Moran went 4-for-4 with a home run, a triple and two RBIs to lead the Bruins at the plate.
A two-run homer by Martin over the right-field fence gave the Raiders an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. However, the Bruins responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by an RBI single to left field by Russell and a sacrifice fly to center field by Riley Baasch.
NWC tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the second with its second home run of the game, a solo blast to right field by Guthmiller.
The Bruins regained the lead with an RBI single to left field by Diego Iribarren in the bottom of the third inning, giving BU a 4-3 margin.
NWC tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth when AJ Nitzschke scored on a wild pitch from Reid Feeley.
Bellevue quickly answered in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs, thanks to a two-run homer by Nicks and a sacrifice fly to right field by Russell, giving BU a 7-4 lead.
The Bruins added four insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a two-run homer to left field by Moran, making the final 11-4.
Feeley (3-0) picked up his third win of the season, scattering five hits with 14 strikeouts and two walks in six innings on the mound.
Tanner Ortlund was tagged with the loss, giving up 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.