OMAHA, Neb. -- Three Bellevue University pitchers combined to limit Presentation College to just one run on seven hits on Saturday afternoon as the Bruins picked up a pair of North Star Athletic Association victories in a double-header sweep at Westgate Field. Bellevue won game one by a score of 5-0 before eking out a 2-1 nail biter in game two.
With the wins BU remains perfect in NSAA play (6-0) while extending their win streak to 19 games and improving to 26-6 overall. Presentation remains winless in league play at 0-6 and has now lost seven-straight to fall to 8-22 overall.
The Bruins and Saints wrap up their series tomorrow afternoon with a double-header at Roddy Field. First pitch is set for noon.
Game One: Bellevue 5, Presentation 0
Bellevue used a four-run third inning to break open a scoreless game and rode a strong pitching effort from Ben McKendall to a 5-0 victory in the series opener.
Jake Browne led off the second inning with a base hit to right and Matt Evans followed with an infield single on a bunt-and-run before Derik Bontempo put BU on the board with a sac fly to score courtesy runner Brandon Salmon. One batter later, after Matt Evans took second on a passed ball and stole third, Todd Nicks singled to left to plate another run. With two outs in the inning, and PC close to escaping further damage, Diego Iribarren singled through the left side to plate a pair of runs and push the Bruin lead to 4-0.
BU tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to go up 5-0 and chase PC starter James Lewis. After Riley Baasch drew a leadoff walk, pinch-runner Salmon stole second and came around to score when Joe Moran pulled a double down the left field line.
McKendall (W, 5-0) pitched a gem to open this weekend's series. After exiting his last start after just two innings he fired a complete game shutout to earn his fifth victory of the season. McKendall scattered four hits and did not walk a batter on his way to a season-high 11 strikeout performance.
Lewis (L, 0-4) threw well for the Saints but the third inning proved too much for the Saints to overcome. In seven innings Lewis pitched better than his line which showed five earned runs on nine hits and four walks – four of the runs and five of the hits allowed by Lewis came in the third inning.
Game Two: Bellevue 2, Presentation 1
Presentation grabbed an early lead with a first inning run but BU starter Zach Wilson settled in from there and was nearly unhittable the rest of the way as BU rallied for a 2-1 victory in game two.
Josh Tabor drew a two-out walk and Anthony Guzman followed-up by being hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on base for PC. Jace Wyatt then delivered a double down the left field line which brought home Tabor and advanced Guzman to third. Wilson escaped further harm by inducing a ground out from Lane Hovde.
Bellevue got the early run back in the bottom of the second inning. Riley Baasch led off the inning with a double to right-center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Joe Moran chased home the first BU run of the game with a ground out to deep second base.
An inning later the Bruins took a lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Jake Browne doubled to right before giving way to courtesy runner Brandon Salmon who advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Matt Evans then chased home Salmon with a sac fly to right field.
Wilson (W, 4-1) sat down 14 batters in a row after allowing that first inning run on a pair of hits before Josh Youngchild collected an infield single in the top of the sixth. His final line had him throwing six innings of three-hit ball, allowing just one run, and striking out five batters against just one walk.
After the leadoff man reached in the seventh, closer Max Dwyer (Save, 6) came on in relief to set down three-straight hitters, including the last two via strikeout, to earn his team-leading sixth save of the year.
Connor Perry (L, 0-2) was the tough luck loser for the Saints. The southpaw three all six innings and limited the eighth-ranked Bruins to just two earned run on five hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Todd Nicks extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a third inning single.