May 3, 2008
Bledsoe, Westman Climb Charts in Finale
KIRKSVILLE, Mo.-Ryan Bledsoe broke Northwest's single-season record for hits, Britt Westman tied Northwest's career record for hits and the Bearcats topped Truman 15-10 in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday at Truman Baseball Park.
The Bearcats (29-22, 18-16 MIAA) took the final three games of their series with the Bulldogs (8-42, 6-30) after Truman took the opener Thursday. Northwest learns its postseason fate next Sunday when the NCAA announces its regional pairings.
Bledsoe led off the game with his eighth home run of the season and in so doing, surpassed Ryan Ellis' single-season mark for hits of 79 set in 2002. Bledsoe added a two-run single in the sixth inning for Northwest and finished the regular season with 81 hits.
Westman smacked a two-run homer in the eighth inning to give Northwest a 15-6 lead and finished 3-for-4 on the day with three runs scored. It was his 14th bomb of the year and the 36th of his career. Westman stands alone in second place on Northwest's all-time home run list, four shy of Adam Bailey's career mark of 40.
Westman also registered his 239th career hit with the blast, which ties John Bothof (2000-03) atop the Bearcats' career hit list.
Northwest scored five runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to open up a 13-4 lead. Truman scored two in the seventh and added four in the eighth after Westman's homer to close the gap to 15-10.
Zach Weston (3-0) was the beneficiary of Northwest's run support. He allowed nine hits and four runs, three earned, in five innings of work to pick up the win. Evan Nickell worked a 1-2-3 ninth in what may be his final collegiate performance.
Todd Schonhoff led off the top of the third with his first home run of the season, which broke a 2-2 tie and gave Northwest the lead for good. Kreed Kurtz singled and scored in each of the Bearcats' five-run innings and added a double in the seventh.
In addition to his hits record, Bledsoe has scored the second-most runs in a season in program history. He's crossed home 60 times this year, one fewer than Adam Bailey did in 2001.
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