Bemidji State at St. Cloud State: Quick
OPPONENT: St. Cloud State Huskies (3-13 / 0-1 North Central Conference)
DATE: March 31, 2004
LOCATION: Dick Putz Field; St. Cloud, Minn.
SERIES: 107 games since 1958; Bemidji State trails, 23-84
Bemidji State Looks for First Win of the Season at St. Cloud
Bemidji State (0-18 / 0-4 NSIC) will look for its first diamond victory of the 2004 season tomorrow when it travels to St. Cloud State (3-13 / 1-3 NCC) for a non-conference double-header. BSU is off to the worst start in school history, but faces a Husky program against which it has had a degree of recent success.
Although St. Cloud State has completely dominated the all-time series with 84 wins over BSU against just 23 losses, Bemidji State has won six of the last eight meetings between the long-time rivals.
The St. Cloud State Series
Bemidji State and St. Cloud State have been long-time baseball rivals, with a 107-game series dating back to 1958. The teams played as Northern Intercollegiate Conference rivals from 1958-81 and have been regular non-conference foes since 1985. Since 1985, the Beavers and Huskies have met on the diamond in all but five seasons.
BSU has captured
six of the last eight meetings between the foes, its most-successful
streak in the history of the series. In fact, prior to its recent success
BSU had won back-to-back games against St. Cloud State just
once - 3-2 and 6-1 wins on April 15-16, 1977.
longest winning streak: 2, four times
longest losing streak: 12, 4/8/85 to 4/4/88
2004 Weather Scoreboard
Games cancelled: 2
Games rescheduled: 2
Games relocated: 2
Games added: 2
Noting BSU’s 0-18 start
Bemidji State has struggled to an 0-18 start out of the gates in 2004, the worst start to a season in the history of the program. BSU’s previous record for most consecutive losses to open a season was 16, set in a winless 0-16 1958 season.
BSU has lost five one-run games during its 0-18 start and has two two-run losses.
Losing streak reaches 19
Bemidji State’s 0-18 start to the 2004 season has extended the team’s overall losing streak to 19 games, dating back to an 11-7 loss to Concordia-St. Paul in its 2003 season finale. Since complete season results are available starting with the 1958 season, BSU’s current losing streak is the second-longest in school history.
BSU losing streaks (since 1958):
20 4/14/1958 - 3/12/1959
19 5/3/2003 - present
17 5/14/1966 - 5/6/1967
Head Coach Chris Brown
Chris Brown (Jamestown (N.D.) College 2000) is in his second season as head coach at Bemidji State and fourth with the program after an assitant coaching stint under BSU baseball icon Jim Grimm. Brown helped lead BSU to a 15-27 record in his debut campaign in 2003, including an 11-11 finish against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition. Brown’s 11 league wins were second-most ever by a rookie head coach at BSU trailing only a 13-8 league mark in Doug Smith’s 1988 debut. Brown’s 15 overall wins were also second-most ever by a BSU rookie head coach and were second-most by any BSU team since 1997.
Brown has a career record of 15-45 (.250) in his second season as a collegiate head coach.
Brown is assisted by Mike Benke, Rick Looker and Dan Persons. Benke (2001) and Looker (1996) are both BSU alumni, while Persons is a 2002 grad of Nebraska-Omaha.
Looking Back: Southwest Minnesota State Series
Bemidji State opened Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play at Southwest Minnesota State, March 28-29. The series was originally scheduled for March 27-28 but was pushed back one day due to expected poor weather conditions in Marshall. BSU dropped the four-game series by scores of 23-2, 5-4, 3-0 and 4-2.
The series got off to a rocky start for BSU, which surrendered 20 runs for the third time this season in Game 1. BSU scored the game’s first run, but allowed 13 runs in the first two innings - including a 10-run second - as the game was put out of reach early.
From there, however, BSU was in each of the final three games of the series and had opportunities to win each game. As has been the case so far in 2004, a lack of timely hitting and an inability to keep runners on base prevented the Beavers from generating runs.
BSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a four-run first inning in Game 2, which featured a three-RBI double by Tony Klaers. But the Beavers would manage to get just three baserunners on the remainder of the game, and the Mustangs slowly chipped away at the lead. SW Minnesota scored a run in the first and a run in the fourth, then grabbed the lead for good with a three-run fifth. The game was suspended in the top of the sixth due to darkness, and resumed on March 29.
The Beavers were held to two hits in a 3-0 Game 3 loss, wasting a fine pitching effort from Tyler Norland. Norland picked up his second complete game in as many starts, allowing just six hits and striking out five in six innings. He allowed three runs (all earned).
BSU fell behind 4-0 in Game 4, and wasted scoring chances in nearly every inning. The Beavers finally put up two runs in the sixth, but it was not enough to overcome the early deficit. Chad Schwegel allowed just two earned runs in 5.1 innings of work, striking out four to take the hard-luck loss.
Giving up 20...
Bemidji State has already allowed 20 or more runs three times in 2004, equaling the school single-season record set in 1982 and matched in 1999. BSU dropped 25-0 and 20-4 decisions to Central Oklahoma in its first two games of the season, and lost 23-2 to Southwest Minnesota State in its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener on March 28.
In 1982, BSU dropped 20-1 and 27-7 decisions to Winona State on March 30, then lost a 21-12 decision to St. Xavier in the NAIA World Series, June 2.
In 1999, BSU dropped a 20-0 decision to Wayne State (4/17/99), lost 20-5 to North Dakota (4/28/99) and lost 27-5 to Winona State (5/1/99). All three of those games were in Bemidji.
Pitching Staff Improving
Bemidji State’s pitching staff started the season with horriffic numbers in the team’s first 10 starts - a staff ERA of 14.41 with opponents hitting a sizzling .398. BSU’s first 10 opponents averaged 12.1 hits and 12.6 runs per game, and the Beavers were walking nearly twice as many hitters as they were striking out.
However, over the last eight games the fortunes of the pitching staff have slowly begun to change. The staff ERA over the last eight games has been 9.00, with that number inflated by a 12-1 loss to South Dakota March 20 and a 23-2 loss to SW Minnesota State March 23, while shaving 31 points off the opposing batting average (to .367). Hits per game are down to 9.9 and runs per game down to 7.25 over the last eight games. Also, the strikeout-to-walks ratio has gone from 3:5 in the first 10 games to 39:24 over the last eight.
Tony Klaers leads the team with a .348 batting average, 116 points higher than the team average (.232); he is BSU’s only qualifying hitter with an average of above .241... Dan Marshall hit safely in all four games of the SW Minnesota State series and has a team-best four-game hitting streak... Shaun Ross doubled twice against SW Minnesota State on March 28... Tyler Norland has received zero run support from the BSU offense in his last two starts; he held South Dakota to one run on March 21 and SW Minnesota State to three runs on March 29 and had no runs scored in support of him.
Bemidji State has committed nearly as many errors in the field (43) as it has runs batted in (47); BSU’s 43 errors have led to 33 unearned runs... BSU has been shut out four times in 18 games this season... The Beavers have scored a total of 17 runs in their last eight games (2.1 runs/game).
Beavers Sport Pair of Two-Sport Crossovers
Nick Noack and non-roster player Adam Daley are expanding their Bemidji State athletics resumes on the baseball diamond this spring. Daley is one of the nation’s leading three-point shooters for BSU’s men’s basketball team, while Noack spent the 2003 season as a redshirt freshman defensive tackle on the football team.