Getting my first look at the NDSU baseball team that has put itself in position to stick together one of its finest seasons ever. The Bison are 16-5 after beating UND the first two games of the series and a team can’t attain that kind of a won-lost mark without a major factor in baseball: pitching.
It’s tough to do in a northern climate. Most of the hot young high school arms go south somewhere thanks to recruiting resources that span the country. The Bison won 10 straight and here are the runs they gave up in those games: 1-3-8-0-1-3-0-5-0-1. Credit that to the starting rotation of John Straka (Chaska, Minn.), Bryant Larson (Fargo North), Luke Anderson (Savage, Minn.) and Zach Wentz (Bismarck Century). Larson and Straka, by the way, have both come back from Tommy John surgery.
That’s how head coach Tod Brown has done it: find guys in the Upper Midwest who are generally multi-sport athletes that had yet to concentrate on baseball. Get them in one sport all year-around, develop them and that’s how NDSU is 17-5. On Saturday, a school single-game record 1,267 fans showed up at Newman Outdoor Field.