MEQUON, Wisconsin – Freshman Justin Bickman doubled and scored twice and a pair of rookie pitchers kept Marian at bay as the MSOE baseball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 NACC Championship with a 5-2 victory Thursday afternoon at Kapco Park.
The third-seeded Raiders (25-17) set a school record with their 25th win and also moved past the No. 2 Sabres (18-21) into Friday night's semifinal contest against the winner of No. 1 Concordia Chicago and No. 4 Aurora.
Bickman's two-baggers came in back-to-back innings as MSOE broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of two-run frames.
Meanwhile, freshman Brad Demkovich (7-1) allowed just three hits and two runs over 5.2 innings to get the win. He struck out a pair before turning the ball over to freshman Mason LeBreck for the 3.1-inning save. LeBreck retired the first nine batters he faced with five strikeouts before working around a couple base-runners in the ninth to get the final out.
Marian errors paved the way for the Raiders to get, leading to three unearned runs. In the first inning, a pair of walks preceded an error, which allowed senior Jimmy Carrington to scamper home with the game's first run.
After seeing the score leveled at 1-1, Bickman started a rally in the fifth inning with a lead-off double. After a groundout moved him to third, he came around to score on an error. Then, two batters later, another error opened the door for Carrington to score again, bringing the score to 3-1.
Then, in the sixth inning, freshman Nick Stricker singled with one out and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt. Bickman then laced a run-scoring double to the gap in left-centerfield to score Stricker. Senior Ryan Newman then followed with an RBI single for a four-run lead.
The Sabres would get on the board in the sixth inning to pull within three runs but that's as close as they would get.
Freshman Julian Sonn also had two hits in the game.
Bickman, whose hit streak ended in game one, reached base safely for the 23rd-straight game. Meanwhile, Newman's RBI single extended his hitting streak to 23 games.