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Gilberto Rodriguez, left, second baseman for Northland Community and Technical College, pumps his fist after a successful double play as Bismarck State College's Luke Leingang looks over his shoulder at the throw to first base during Monday's game at Dwyer Field. The play would end the inning with no runs scored and three Mystics stranded on base.

Monday's non-conference college baseball doubleheader in Bismarck didn't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme for either team involved.

Despite the brisk conditions, Bismarck State College and Northland Community & Technical College of Thief River Falls, Minn., were just happy to be playing ball.

After 42 runs, 24 hits, 20 walks, five errors and two last-at bat comebacks, there was plenty to talk about. Especially for the Pioneers who came away with the improbable sweep, 5-3 and 18-16.

"We have 10 games in seven days and six conference games this week so we knew we'd be playing some high-scoring games because we can't go all-out pitching-wise in these (non-conference) games," said BSC head coach Corby McGlauflin. "But at the end of the day, it's a pretty disappointing day. It was some pretty sloppy baseball on our end."

Still, the Mystics were in good shape to win both.

They led 3-2 going into Northland's last at bat in the opener and were just one out away from a 15-13 triumph in the nightcap before the Pioneers put together a five-run rally to steal one.

"We need to be able to finish games," McGlauflin said. "Obviously we didn't do a very good job of that today."

The Pioneers entered Monday's twinbill with a 6-12 mark. Coach Sam Schumacher said their diamond back home is still blanketed with snow.

"We're just happy to be out here playing," Schumacher said. "Bismarck State is a great ballclub. They're coached up well and have a lot of really nice players.

"That was just college baseball at its finest. It was fun to watch those guys compete out there today."

Blake Fetting was a one-man wrecking crew for the Pioneers. The Northland leadoff man clubbed three home runs and had seven RBIs in game 2 alone. His third blast of the game, over the cozy 360-foot sign in center field, cut the seventh-inning deficit to 15-14. A series of walks, hit batsmen, one error and a couple hits led to the winning rally.

"It was a really fun game, a really fun series," said Schumacher. "You always like to see your team respond when their backs are against the wall. For us, this is huge. Hopefully we can use it as a springboard into our conference season."

The Mystics were coming off a Sunday sweep of Minnesota State Community & Technical College of Fergus Falls.

Century High grad Ian McDonald tossed six strong innings on the mound in the opener on Monday, allowing just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.

Spencer Gillund had two of the Mystics four hits.

Connor Burgess and Seth Brewer had big performances at the plate in game 2. Burgess went 3-for-4 with a homer, double and four RBIs. Brewer also went deep, doubled and knocked in four.

Luke Leingang, another Century product, went 3-for-5 and scored three times.

Despite the losses, there were plenty of positives for the Mystics, who host Lake Region State on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in a Mon-Dak doubleheader.

"It's encouraging knowing what we could be, but at the same time guys need to show up," McGlauflin said. "We only have two or three weeks left. We need to start playing at a high level more consistently."

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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Sports Editor