The University of North Dakota evened the series on Saturday evening by defeating Utah Valley University, 10-1, at UVU's Brent Brown Ballpark. The Western Athletic Conference opening series for both teams concludes Sunday afternoon.
A day removed from winning their first WAC game in their first try (8-5), UND (1-9, 1-1 WAC) limited the Wolverines (5-13, 1-1 WAC) to just one run on six hits on Saturday as Zach Muckenhirn pitched a gem for North Dakota. The southpaw allowed just four hits and the one run while striking out eight in eight innings of work. Muckenhirn picked up the win in the process to improve to 1-1, while Ryan Evans (0-2) was tagged with the loss for UVU.
UND jumped out to an early lead as it pushed across a single run in the first to take a 1-0 advantage. Utah Valley answered in the second, however, with a run of its own on an RBI single from third baseman Beau Kallas to tie the contest at 1-1. The tie wouldn't last for long as North Dakota managed to put a four-spot on the board in third and three more in the fourth to jump out to an 8-1 lead. UND then tacked on solo runs in the fifth and seventh to take the 10-1 advantage.
Despite suffering the defeat, sophomore Kallas led UVU with three hits in the ballgame as he went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run batted in. Greyson Bogden, Riley White and Zach Slesk also added a hit apiece in the contest for the Wolverines. White and Slesk's hits were both for extra bases as Slesk smacked a double to left in the fifth inning while White hit his into the left field corner in the eighth.
The loss for UVU marked just its second-ever defeat to North Dakota as the Wolverines lead the all-time series over their former Great West foe, 12-2.
UND finished with 16 hits on the night, and all nine batters recorded at least one hit for the visitors. Designated hitter Zack Trygstad led the way for North Dakota by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Third baseman Ryan Reese also drove home three runs in the game for UND.
First pitch of Sunday's rubber match between UVU and UND is schedule for noon. Following Sunday's matinée, the Wolverines will head to Salt Lake City to take on Utah on Tuesday.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.
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