Bemidji State got the ball rolling immediately in Game 1, seeing its first four hitters of the game reach base. John Grindeland and Jared Podraza led off the game with back-to-back singles, and after Shaun Ross was hit by a pitch Tony Klaers drew a bases-loaded walk to plate BSU’s first run. Podraza would later score on a wild pitch, and Ross scored on a Dan Wagner groundout to stake the Beavers to a 3-0 lead.
Ross added a two-RBI single with one out in the second, and Chris Dvorak scored on a wild pitch in the third to put BSU up 6-0.
The Golden Bears added a single run in the fourth and scored an unearned run in the sixth but could get no closer, giving BSU the 6-2 win. It was the second consecutive victory by the Beavers after opening the season with losses in each of its first 19 starts.
Stephen Heesen threw one of the best starts by a BSU pitcher so far this season. He scattered seven hits in 5.1 innings of work and allowed just a single earned run (two runs total). He struck out five and walked four with one hit batsman.
Scott Pugliese pitched the final five outs to earn the first save of the year by a BSU pitcher. He allowed just on ehit and struck out one.
Concordia-St. Paul plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the first in Game 2, but Bemidji State fought back and held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. Wagner reached on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a straight steal of home in the second inning, and Isaac Smieja and Tyler Norland scored runs in the fourth to give BSU the one-run lead.
But the hosts blew the game open by plating eight runs in the home half of the fourth. A popup to short got the inning started, but the next eight Bear hitters would reach base - six by hitting safely - and all eight of those would score to put the game out of reach. In all, the Bears sent 12 men to the plate in the inning.
Concordia added a run in the fifth and Grindeland scored an unearned run for BSU in the top of the seventh for the game’s final 11-4 margin.
The Beavers were held to six hits in Game 2, two coming off the bat of Ross. BSU’s six through nine hitters combined to go 1-for-12 in the contest and were 3-for-22 (.136) in the twinbill.
Chad Schwegel was saddled with the pitching loss in Game 2. He started and went 3.1 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on just six hits. He struck out three and walked two and also hit two batters. Josh Langlie pitched a third of an inning in relief, allowing two runs on two hits before being pulled for Kyal Brandt. Brandt pitched the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one run on two hits against four strikeouts.
BSU’s Game 1 win ran its winning streak all-time against the Golden Bears to eight games, while the Game 2 loss was just BSU’s second all-time to Concordia-St. Paul. BSU now leads the all-time series, 8-2, including a 3-1 edge in NSIC games.
The split moved Bemidji State to 2-20 overall and 1-5 in NSIC play; the Golden Bears remain a .500 team at 8-8 overall but now stand 5-1 in the NSIC. The teams wrap up their series tomorrow with a noon double-header at Bob Barnes Field in St. Paul.