Kearney, Neb. – Junior center fielder Brett Young hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and junior right hander Eric Sandoz picked up his first save to help Nebraska-Kearney rally past Minot State, 7-5, Friday evening at Memorial Field.
This was the first of a four game non-conference series. The Lopers improve to 7-10 while the Beavers, from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, fall to 2-5.
MSU led for most of the day as junior third baseman Darrel Doll hit a two-run homer in the first, junior starting pitcher Reilly O’Rourke was solid early and two Loper errors led to a three-run fifth.
Down 5-1, the Loper rally started in the bottom of the fifth when junior third baseman Alex Achtermann (Denver, Colo.) hit a two-run double that banged high off the left field wall. The opposite field shot came with two down and on a 3-2 pitch.
In the UNK sixth, O’Rourke got the leadoff hitter to fly out to right but then he plunked freshman catcher Will Olson (Millard West) and walked redshirt freshman shortstop Pete Carlson (Arvada, Colo.). The walk came on another full count and brought out the Beaver coaches for a mound visit.
They opted to leave O’Rourke in and Young (Lodi Calif.) promptly belted the first pitch he saw over the left field wall. UNK’s leadoff hitter, Young now has four homers in his last four games.
Sophomore first baseman Ty Roseberry (2 for 4, two runs) hit his fifth dinger of the year in the seventh to provide an insurance run. Senior lefty Bradley Brown (Aurora, Colo.) threw three scoreless innings but gave way to Sandoz (Austin, Texas) after a one-out single in the ninth. On the hit, the ball got past the Loper outfielder and thus Minot had a runner in scoring position.
However, Sandoz put out the flames by getting back-to-back strikeouts. Brown fanned two Beavers to improve to 1-2 while senior starter Mitchell Robinson (Golden, Colo.) had four K’s in five full innings. He allowed two earned on seven hits and three walks.
Minot out hit UNK by a 10-7 margin but left three more runners on base, 9-6. Finally, the Beavers were blanked over the last four innings.
A rare double header will begin Saturday at high noon.