Back on familiar ground

North Dakota baseball team continues playing at home

North Dakota didn’t let it its slow start hold it back.

The UND baseball team went into Monday’s game against Minnesota Crookston with that mindset, posting a 14-5 victory after three consecutive losses at home.

North Dakota played in Grand Forks for the first time this season after starting its first 21 games on the road. But the University of California Bakersfield had plans of its own in Grand Forks.

The visitors swept the series in grand fashion, but that didn’t stop UND from coming out strong against the Golden Eagles of Crookston, winning 14-5. UND hopes the victory will help it carry momentum into the coming series this weekend against Chicago State.

“It’s always good to get a win,” UND senior pitcher Ben Clark said. “Doesn’t matter who it’s against. It’s going to be big for us going forward with the rest of this homestand.”

UND plays host to Chicago State this Friday and looks to keep the bats hot and improve the pitching aspect of the game.

“We’re in a good spot.” UND coach Jeff Dodson said after Monday’s game. “We just got out pitched this past weekend. If we can swing the bats a little better, get back with our approach that we normally go with, we’ll be fine.”

Tuesday’s game against South Dakota State was postponed due to inclement weather.

After this past weekend, UND emerged with names toward the top of the statistical leaderboards in the Western Athletic Conference in hitting.

Jeff Campbell and Tyler Follis are at a tie for second in the conference for batting average with an even .400 average this deep into the season.

As for Campbell, he is tied for first in average of home runs per game. Campbell currently sits second in multiple categories within the WAC including slugging percentage and home runs. He also ranks fifth in on base percentage, four in total bases, and also ranks second in hits per game.

Senior infielder Follis also ranks high up in WAC ranks as he is third in slugging percentage and fourth in on base percentage.

Chicago State comes in looking to turn things around after dropping three to Utah Valley. The Cougars will look to try and turn the season around as they sit toward the bottom of WAC standings with a record of 7-22 and are currently on a five-game losing streak. They’ll be looking to bounce back against a confident UND squad.

First pitch between the two is set for 2 p.m. this Friday at Kraft Field.

Jack Harvey is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].