WAYNE, Neb. (WSC Baseball Complex) - The Bemidji State baseball team wrapped up its 2005 season this afternoon, dropping a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference double-header to the Wayne State Wildcats by scores of 10-6 and 8-5. The sweep, coupled with Concordia-St. Paul’s split at Northern State this afternoon, helped Wayne State seal up the No. 1 seed in next weekend’s NSIC Tournament.
Bemidji State jumped out to a 6-0 lead in Game 1, scoring three runs in the first and third innings off Wildcat starter Josh Anderson.
The first three BSU hitters of the game hit safely and would later score. Eric Pilgrim led off with a double, followed by singles from Matt Middendorf and Tony Klaers. The Klaers hit scored Pilgrim to put BSU on the board; Middendorf and Klaers would both score when Jared Podraza reached first after striking out on a wild pitch which got away from Wildcat catcher Chris Pedroza to put the Beavers up 3-0.
After seeing just one baserunner in the second, BSU padded its lead to six runs when Bryan Martinka powered a three-run home run with two out in the top of the third.
But Wayne State, which had mustered just one base-runner in the first two innings off BSU starter Nate Erlandson, caught fire in the bottom of the third. After Erlandson retired Ben Albury to lead off the inning, the next four Wildcats reached base safely on a double, an RBI single by Mike Sorensen, and back-to-back walks to Dustin Jones and Brian Van Driel. Pedroza struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Wildcats would plate four more runs off Erlandson before he could escape the inning clinging to a 6-5 lead.
Josh Anderson came on in relief for the Wildcats to start the fourth, and he allowed just one baserunner to set the stage for Wayne State’s rally in the bottom of the inning.
The Wildcats picked up four runs in the home half of the fourth to take a 9-6 lead they’d not relinquish. Jones had an RBI single to left to draw Wayne State even at 6-6, Van Driel gave the hosts the lead with an RBI triple, and Bidroski and Arnaldo Ovalles added RBI later in the inning to give the Wildcats a three-run cushion.
Anderson was lights out the rest of the way, holding the Beavers to just three hits in the game’s final three innings and did not allow a BSU runner to reach second base. He picked up the victory, allowing just four hits and walking two in a four-inning relief stint to improve to 9-0 on the year.
Erlandson took the loss for BSU, falling to 1-5. He allowed nine runs (nine earned) on seven hits with five walks in three and two-thirds of an inning. Tony Meech and Dave Zothman pitched in relief.
Wayne State grabbed a 4-1 lead after three innings in Game 2, then used a four-run fifth to stamp out a BSU rally and end the 2005 season for the Beavers with an 8-5 win in Game 2.
Jared Podraza homered for BSU in the top of the second to put the Beavers on top, 1-0, but Wayne State answered with a run of its own in the home half of the second then grabbed the lead with a three-run third. Bidroski provided the big blow in the third with a two-run home run to left field.
BSU fought back and recaptured the lead with four unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Kent Sannes singled home Matt Pesta in the fourth to pull the Beavers within 4-2, and BSU grabbed the lead, 5-4, with a three-run fifth. John Grindeland singled home Middendorf; and Podraza and Pesta had sac flies to put BSU back on top by a run.
But Wayne State answered with a four-run fifth, including a three-run homer to center field by Ovalles that marked the ninth Wildcat circuit clout of the series.
Chad Schwegel picked up the loss for the Beavers. He allowed eight runs (eight earned) on eight hits with four walks and four strikeouts in four and two-thirds of an inning. He fell to 1-6. Middendorf pitched the final inning and a third.
Travis McCarter started for Wayne State and earned no decision in four innings of work. Steve Walsh pitched the fifth to earn the win and improve to 3-0, while Adam McGuire held BSU to two hits over the final two innings to earn his first save.
The double-header sweep ended Bemidji State’s 2005 season with a record of 10-39, 8-14 in NSIC play, while Wayne State improved to 41-11 overall, 19-3 in conference play. Bemidji State set school records for losses in a season (39) and games played in a season (49).