The Northwestern Red Raider baseball team had a full week, playing six games. The Raiders managed a 3-3 record in the contests, but are currently on a three-game winning streak, pushing their season record to 12-13.
Friday, April 1, brought the Doane Tigers to town, but NW fell by scores of 2-1 and 6-3. In the first game, sophomore Taylor Morris threw seven innings, gave up no walks and allowed seven hits while striking out five. With no run support, he was credited with the loss. Junior pitcher Jared Kirkeby had a decent outing in the second game, but also received the loss. The Raiders managed only nine hits combined in the two tough contests.
Coach Brian Wede responded by saying, “When a team is throwing some of their top pitchers, hitting can be very difficult, and when a team is basically throwing the last few guys on their pitching staff, hitting can be fairly easy.”
On Saturday, NW lost a 12-inning heartbreaker to Hastings 2-0, but found their groove in the second game and won a 14-1 blowout. The front end of the doubleheader had junior Mike Zoellner on the bump for the Raiders. He received a no-decision after throwing a fantastic seven innings, striking out 10 as he held the Broncos scoreless. Junior Eddie Pantzlaff also threw four scoreless, and senior Drew Nonnemacher was credited with the loss.
On Zoellner’s 5-0 record this year, senior catcher Clint Gingerich commented, “Mike is tough because he can throw all four of his pitches for a strike. His ability to mix it up and stay in the zone with his off-speed stuff keeps hitters off balance.”
The Raider bats came alive in the second game, as eight different Raiders banged out a hit. Junior Steve Englund went 4-4, with two runs scored and five RBI, including a grand slam. Junior Matt Negaard was 2-3 with three runs scored, Gingerich went 2-4 with an RBI, and freshman Davis Bloemendaal was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Noah Bohlmann received the win on the mound.
The momentum continued on Wednesday night in the non-conference contests against Waldorf, where NW won 10-0. Negaard was once again a sparkplug in the leadoff spot; scoring all four times he came to the dish. Gingerich went 1-3 and scored twice. Bloemendaal had a big night, going 2-4 and knocking five runs in. Freshman Ryan Brasser was the winning pitcher.
The second game was an 8-1 win for the Raiders, led by freshman Tyler Stuerman and his five scoreless innings on the bump, giving up only two hits. Negaard was 2-4 with two runs scored. Gingerich and Bloemendaal both knocked in two RBI each. Sophomore Corey Van Gorp was 1-3 and had an RBI as well.
The Raiders will look to continue their run this Friday at Midland before returning home for Saturday’s games.