The Bellevue baseball team won the North Star Athletic Association Tournament to earn an automatic berth in the 2019 NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round that starts Monday.
The Bruins defeated Valley City State 26-5 in the NSAA championship Monday for the conference title and to extend their win streak to 23 games. BU holds a 43-14 record overall.
Bellevue had a response for all three of Valley City State’s scoring innings before routing the Vikings for a 10-spot and more later in the game.
The Vikings led 4-1 after the top of the third before the Bruins tied the game at 4-all in the bottom of the inning.
Bellevue took a 7-4 lead at the end of the fourth. Valley City State scored in the top of the fifth inning to make it 7-5, but BU belted 10 runs in the bottom of the inning to stretch the gap to 17-5.
The Bruins added four more runs in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the eighth.
JT Patterson totaled three hits, three runs scored and seven RBIs, including two homers, while Travis Tanaka added four hits, two runs scored and four RBIs. Stuart Eurich drove in four runs, too, and Kory Longaker added a homer.
Bellevue, the No. 1 seed, defeated Viterbo, Presentation and Waldorf to earn a spot in the conference championship against No. 3 seed Valley City State.
Bellevue 5, Viterbo 3 — After each team scored one run in the first inning, Viterbo took a 2-1 in the third inning. After Bellevue tied the game at 2-all in the fourth, the Bruins held a 2-1 advantage in the fifth to lead 4-3. Bellevue added an insurance run in the seventh.
Tanaka, Riley Baasch and Austin Alexander each recorded two hits and a RBI, while Brandon Desjardins pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save.
Bellevue 6, Presentation 3 — After five innings the two teams were deadlocked at 3-all. Bellevue broke the tie with three runs in the eighth to seal the win.
Eurich hit a RBI triple while Longaker and Patterson each homered.
Stephen Knapp allowed three runs in seven innings.
Bellevue 7, Waldorf 3 — Bellevue jumped ahead 5-0 before Waldorf scored two runs in the fourth inning. After each team scored a run in the seventh, the Bruins added an insurance run in the eighth.
Longaker and Cody Banks each recorded three hits with Longaker hitting a double and homer. Austin Alexander added a homer and three RBIs.
• The BU softball team made the NSAA Tournament final after winning the first three games of the tournament, including two extra-inning games.
The No. 2 Bruins squared-off against No. 1 seed and host Valley City State in a best of three-game championship series, with VCSU sweeping the series.
In game one, the Vikings scored two runs in the first inning on their way to a 3-1 lead for VCSU after three innings.
Bellevue added a run with one out in the seventh to trail by one run, but the Vikings got the next two batters out for 3-2 win.
Ellie Bliemeister and Emily Rochford each homered for the two Bruin runs.
In game two, a two-run second inning and five-run fourth inning for VCSU sunk the Bruins, who scattered four hits.
Ashley Young led Bellevue with two hits in game two.
Bellevue 3, Dakota State 0 — Two runs in the third inning and one run in the fourth inning proved Bellevue victorious in the opening NSAA Tournament game. Erin Sharpe hit a two-run homer with Grace Glotfelty adding the other RBI.
Monique Ashley pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only six hits and striking out six.
Bellevue 4, Viterbo 3 - After both team scored two runs in the ninth, the Bruins notched a walk-off victory in the 10th inning off a RBI single by Young that scored Ashlyn Teran.
Bliemeister notched three hits, while Sharpe, Young, Maddie Siedlik and Glotfelty each recorded two hits.
Bellevue 3, Viterbo 2 — Again, Young came up victorious for the Bruins. This time with a walk off in the 14th inning when she singled home Kayla Lehigh for the game-winning run.
Teran clutched three hits, while Sharpe, Young, Glotfelty and Kaitlyn Kinman each added two hits. Sharpe pitched 12 1/3 innings allowing two unearned runs on 10 hits with 12 strikeouts.