ST. CLOUD, Minn. (Dick Putz Field) - Bemidji State baseball scored just one run and was held to eight base hits at St. Cloud State, dropping and 4-1 and 6-0 decisions in a non-conference double-header sweep Monday afternoon.
BSU scored its only Game 1 run, unearned, in the fifth inning. Catcher Matt Asche led off the inning by reaching on an error by Husky second baseman Bobby Gregoire, and later scored on an RBI double by Eric Pilgrim.
But St. Cloud State pitcher Mike Hoelscher would hold BSU in check the remainder of the contest. He held the Beavers to six hits in a seven-inning complete-game victory with two strikeouts and no walks.
Aside from Asche, BSU saw just two runners advance as far as third base in the contest. Michael Nordyke singled to lead off the fourth and was stranded at third, and Tony Klaers tripled with one out in the sixth but BSU was unable to bring him home.
The lack of offense overshadowed a strong effort by BSU starter Nate Heim. Heim threw a complete game, scattering nine hits in six innings and holding the Huskies to four earned runs. He walked one and did not have a strikeout as his season record fell to 0-3.
St. Cloud State’s Jeremy Liebherr and Matt Means combined to throw a two-hit shutout of BSU in Game 2. Liebherr started and went five innings, allowing just two hits - a fourth-inning single by John Grindeland and a fifth-inning double by Joe Ferguson.
Ferguson and Matt Pesta were the only BSU runners to advance as far as second base in the game.
St. Cloud State scored five runs in the third inning to give its pitching staff all the support it would need. Travis Thompson and pinch-hitter Dave Carlson each had a two-run singles in the inning, and Carlson would later score, unearned, for the fifth run of the frame.
BSU’s Marcus Bromenshenkel started, but lasted just two and two-thirds of an inning. He was lifted after allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits and walked three. Lee Pingel threw three and a third innings in relief; he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
The two-game sweep extends BSU’s losing streak to a school-record 22 games, dating back to the 2004 season finale. It is the third losing streak of 20 or more games in school history, and the second in as many years. BSU dropped 20 consecutive games in 1958-59, and an 0-19 start in 2004 gave BSU a 20-game losing streak. BSU’s 0-21 start to the 2005 season is the worst start in school history.
The sweep drops Bemidji State’s record to 0-21 to open the 2005 season, while St. Cloud State improves to 11-8. Bemidji State is back in action Tuesday, April 6 in a two-game non-conference double-header against Jamestown College for its 2005 home debut. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Central time at the BSU Baseball Field.