FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A five-run first inning propelled the IPFW baseball squad to an 8-4 victory over North Dakota State, earning a series split with the Bison.
The win moved the Mastodons to 10-10 in the Summit League, and into a tie for second place in the standings with South Dakota State (7-7) and Omaha (8-8).
For the second straight day, Steve Lowden led IPFW at the dish, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Carter DeBoe also collected a pair of hits and scored twice. Shane Trevino drove in a pair of runs while Kristian Gayday and Evan VanSumeren both came around to score twice.
In the first, the ‘Dons opened the inning as the first three batters reached base. Trevino brought home the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. IPFW pulled a double steal with DeBoe taking second and VanSumeren coming home to score. After DeBoe stole third, he would score on a ball four, wild pitch. After an NDSU error, Lowden delivered an RBI single and Jon Timmermen capped off the inning with a bases loaded RBI groundout.
The Bison scored a run in the third with two outs, but IPFW answered with a run of its own in the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Lowden.
Both sides exchanged runs in the sixth as NDSU scored with two outs and the Mastodons scored a pair of runs on a single by Trevino and a Bison error on the play.
The seventh and eighth innings saw the Bison score a run, but Connor Lawhead struck out the final two batters in the ninth to end the game.
Ryan Wells earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs over six innings of work. Lawhead picked up his sixth save of the season, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out five in three innings. The six saves by Lawhead are tied for the most in a single season by an IPFW pitcher, matching current teammate Steve Danielak during the 2012 season. He is also now tied for the league lead in saves.
IPFW will wrap up its Summit League season with a four-game series at Omaha beginning on Friday, May 9.