Jon Czech carved his name into the BSU recordbooks, setting a school record with his 11th home run of the season in Game 1. He had been even with Jamie Sinning, who belted 10 home runs for the Beavers in 1990.
Bemidji State’s Game 2 loss was its 34th setback of the year, tying the school record for most losses in a season. BSU finished 9-34 in 1999. It was BSU’s 17th loss in conference play, which also tied a school record set in 1990 when the Beavers finished 3-17 in Northern Intercollegiate Conference play.
• BSU plates seven runs in first three innings, holds on for 8-4 win in Game 1
Deacon Burns singled to lead off the home half of the first for Northern State, then after stealing second and third would score on Fisbeck’s RBI single to put the Wolves ahead 1-0.
But that lead would be short-lived, as Bemidji State piled on seven runs over the next two innings to take control of the contest. The Beavers plated four runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good, then added three in the third to put the game out of reach.
BSU’s eight- and nine-hole hitters rapped back-to-back doubles in the four-run second inning, with Chris Dvorak plating Czech and Dan Wagner scoring Dvorak and Isaac Smieja. Wagner later scored on an RBI single by Matt Middendorf to put the Beavers ahead 4-1.
The three third-inning Beaver runs all came via the long ball. Shaun Ross muscled a solo shot with one out, and after Tony Klaers reached on an error Czech muscled his record home run to push the BSU lead to 7-1.
The Wolves grabbed a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but BSU took advantage of three fourth-inning fielding miscues by the Wolves and scored Middendorf unearned to push its lead back to five runs at 8-3. The Wolves would add a single run in the fifth, but got just one baserunner in the final two innings and fell 8-4.
Scott Pugliese started for the Beavers and pitched six strong innings to earn his third win of the season. He scattered nine hits and allowed four runs (four earned) with four strikeouts and two walks. Chad Schwegel recorded the final three outs.
Czech, Smieja and Dvorak had two hits apiece to lead the BSU offense. Czech and Wagner had two RBI apiece.
Northern State committed four errors in the contest, which led to two unearned BSU runs.
• Wes Fisbeck grand slam helps Northern State earn split with 7-5 win over BSU in Game 2
Bemidji State’s hot bats from Game 1 carried over into the first inning of Game 2, as the Beavers grabbed three runs in the top of the first inning. But the lead would not hold, as Northern State rallied with four runs in the third and two in the fifth en route a 7-5 win.
Ross fired an RBI triple to center field to score Wagner and get BSU on the board, and the Beavers added two more runs in the first inning on an RBI double by Klaers and an RBI single by Czech.
Northern State chipped into the lead with a single run in the home half of the first, taking advantage of a leadoff walk to Burns. BSU’s 3-1 lead held into the bottom of the third, when starter Tyler Norland gave up three singles to load the bases. Fisback answered with a one-out grand slam to center field, shoving the Wolves ahead 5-3. It was a lead they’d not relinquish.
The hosts added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth, taking full advantage of a throwing error by Norland to plate two unearend runs. BSU answered with two unearned runs in the sixth on a passed ball and a Bronzcyk sacrifice fly to cut the Wolf lead to 7-5, but could draw no closer.
Ross and Klaers had two hits and two runs scored each to lead the BSU offense, but the team’s five- through nine-hole hitters combined to go just 3-for-14 in the contest.
Norland pitched a six-inning complete game and gave up seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out two, falling to 1-7 on the season.
The split has Bemidji State close out its 2004 season at 14-34 overall and 11-17 in the NSIC. Northern State finishes 17-26 overall, 10-16 in the NSIC. Bemidji State’s 48 games played tied the 1997 team (24-24) for most games played in a single season in school history.