Duane Monlux remembers the last time his team was on this kind of roll. It wasn’t that long ago.

In 2017, after a 7-6 start, Bellevue won 42 of its next 43. The Bruins hosted the NAIA opening-round tournament that May, but lost in the title game.

After a 7-13 start this spring, Bellevue has reeled off 36 wins in 37 games.

“They don’t happen very often,” the coach said. “You have to enjoy them when they do happen.”

Bellevue will have to hit the road this time for the NAIA opening round. The Bruins take a 23-game winning streak to Shreveport, Louisiana, where they’re the third seed in a five-team bracket. Tournament play begins Monday.

“Since (the 7-13 start), we started having better at-bats and playing really solid defense,” Monlux said. “Our pitchers have really started stepping up and throwing strikes. Overall, we’ve been playing good baseball, pretty clean baseball.”

Bellevue (43-14) has outscored its opponents 412-111 the past 37 games, averaging 11.1 runs per contest. In last Monday’s North Star tournament final, it put up 26 runs, scoring in each of its last seven innings.

“Our lineup gives us a chance to score every inning,” Monlux said. “It’s not unusual for us to start or finish big innings at the bottom of our lineup.”

Bellevue is hitting .349 as a team. Leading the way have been third baseman JT Patterson — who is second in the NAIA in RBIs (86) and fourth in homers (24) — and shortstop Kory Longaker — who is third in runs (78) and fifth in total bases (164). Seventeen of Patterson’s homers have come during the 23-game winning streak.

Stephen Knapp and Jarrett Poh are an effective one-two punch at the top of the rotation. But Monlux knows his offense will be seeing stronger pitchers this week, so he said his staff must perform well.

“To make a World Series, we’re going to need a pitcher or two to step up for us,” he said.

The Shreveport bracket also includes 29-21 York, which was the KCAC runner-up. Concordia, the GPAC regular-season champion, is the fourth seed in the Henderson, Tennessee, bracket.

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First round: 3:30 p.m. Monday in Shreveport, La.

Coach: Duane Monlux

Record: 43-14

Top hitters: Korey Longaker (.387, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 78 R, 18 SB); JT Patterson (.383, 24 HR, 86 RBI, 68 R); Riley Baasch (.330, 11 HR, 52 RBI); Cody Banks (.369, 56 R, 36 RBI).

Top pitchers: Stephen Knapp (10-2, 2.04 ERA, 8 CG); Jarrett Poh (8-0, 1.62 ERA, 6 CG)

About the Bruins: Bellevue is making its ninth straight NAIA tournament appearance and 22nd overall. ... Bellevue has won 23 straight, scoring in double digits in 14 of those wins. ... As a team the Bruins are hitting .349 with 74 home runs.


First round: 11 a.m. Monday in Henderson, Tenn.

Coach: Ryan Dupic

Record: 32-18

Top hitters: Christian Meza (.343, 40 RBI), Wade Council (.312, 31 RBI), Jesse Garcia (.302, 8 HR, 36 RBI)

Top pitchers: Sasha Jabusch (6-2, 3.10 ERA); Jason Munsch (5-4, 2.62 ERA, 94 K); Jake Fosgett (6-2, 3.09 ERA); Dylan DuRee (0.61 ERA, 8 saves)

About the Bulldogs: Concordia is the NAIA tournament for the second time in three years. ... Meza was named GPAC player of the year. ... Concordia had four of the five GPAC first-team pitchers. As a staff, Concordia has a 3.82 ERA and averages 11 strikeouts per nine innings.


First round: Noon Monday in Shreveport, La.

Coach: Brian Walth

Record: 29-21

Top hitters: Lawyer Braun (.356, 12 HR, 40 RBI); Matt Nunes (.337, 5 HR, 32 RBI); Jake Sola (.222, 15 HR, 44 RBI)

Top pitchers: Matt Lindsley (11-2, 2.66 ERA, 100 K); Spencer Jones (1.76 ERA, 9 saves)

About the Panthers: York finished runner-up to Oklahoma Wesleyan in the KCAC tournament. ... Braun leads York in batting average, doubles and stolen bases. ... Lindsley was named the KCAC pitcher of the year.