ABERDEEN, S.D. (Fossum Field) - Bemidji State saw its 2006 baseball campaign come to an end over the weekend when it split a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference series with the Northern State Wolves. BSU swept a double-header on Saturday, May 6 by scores of 13-3 and 6-4 and was swept in a Sunday, May 7 twinbill by scores of 3-1 and 8-2.
Tony Klaers (Elk River, Minn.) helped lift the Beavers to a 13-3 victory in Game 1 of the weekend series with one of BSU’s finest single-game offensive performances of the season. Klaers went 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs, three runs scored and tied BSU’s season single-game high with five RBI. He led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left field and delivered a grand slam with none out in the sixth to help the Beavers push their lead to 13-2.
BSU picked up a pair of two RBI singles from the bats of Matt Asche (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and Eric Pilgrim (Park Rapids, Minn.) to light off a five-run fourth inning that helped put the Beavers in control of the game. After the Wolves had shaved BSU’s lead to 8-2 with a pair of runs in the home half of the fifth, BSU slammed the door with a five-run fifth highlighted by Klaers’ grand slam.
Klaers’ three-hit day led a group of six BSU hitters with more than one hit in the contest, and he was one of four Beavers to rack up more than one RBI in the blowout.
Chad Schwegel (St. Joseph, Minn.) scattered eight hits in a seven-inning complete-game victory for the Beavers. He allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out six while allowing just one walk. His team-leading third victory of the season helped him even his record at 3-3.
Northern State grabbed the early lead in Game 2 when an RBI double by Adam Kampsen capped a two-run third inning, but BSU would rally back and capture the lead with four unanswered runs.
The Beavers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, and Asche cleared the bases with an RBI single to left. A fielding error by Wolf left fielder Tom Keiser helped Asche advance to second and allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate as the Beavers grabbed a 3-2 lead.
BSU pushed its lead to 4-2 on an RBI single from John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) in the fifth, but Northern State rallied to tie the score at four runs each with a pair of RBI hits in the home half of the fifth.
Pilgrim walked with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth to help BSU recapture the lead, 5-4, and Tony Meech (Menahga, Minn.) came on in relief and held the Wolves to one hit over the game’s final two innings to secure the win. Matt Pesta (Long Prairie, Minn.) added an insurance run when he led off the seventh inning with his team-leading ninth home run of the season.
Bryant Salamone (Rockford, Ill.) picked up his second win of the season with a five-inning start. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Meech held the Wolves to one hit in two innings of relief work to garner his second save.
On May 7, Northern State took leads in the first three innings of both games and rode strong performances from its starting pitchers to sweep the double-header and split the four-game series.
The Wolves scored three times in the bottom of the first without getting a ball out of the infield, then rode a five-hit effort from Paul Gerrish to secure a 3-1 victory. Matt Sisk and Kampsen walked to lead off the first, and after a sacrifice bunt and an infield single led 1-0. A sacrifice bunt scored Kampsen, and a wild pitch and a single to the shortstop would score Justin Downes to give the Wolves a 3-0 edge.
It was all the support Gerrish would need. He set BSU down 1-2-3 four times in the contest and did not allow a run until Asche broke up the shutout with a sacrifice fly to score Klaers with two out in the fifth. Gerrish retired the last seven BSU batters he faced in the contest to wrap up the win and improve to 3-7 on the year.
He out-duelled Chuck Erlandson (Moorhead, Minn.), who took the hard-luck loss for BSU and saw his season record fall to 0-9. He allowed three runs on five hits, but walked five and struck out two in a complete-game effort.
The Wolves used a six-run second inning to break open a 1-1 tie and cruise to an 8-2 victory in Game 2.
singled home Grindeland in the top of the first inning to give BSU a
1-0 lead, and the Wolves evened the scoreboard when Downes singled home
Kampsen in the bottom of the inning. The Beavers were retired in order
in the second, and Northern State blew the game open with a six-run
eruption in the second inning.
All six runs were scored after BSU had recorded two outs in the inning. Kampsen singled to left to score two runs and get the rally underway, setting off a streak of five consecutive Wolf hitters to record a base hit. Gerrish followed with an RBI single, Keiser delivered a two-run triple and Aaron Kappes capped the rally with an RBI single to center before Andrew Lunsetter flew out to end the inning.
The teams combined for just three hits in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and BSU broke the logjam on Grindeland’s RBI double to score Middendorf in the sixth.
Gerrish chipped in an RBI single to score Kampsen for Northern State in the sixth to put the Wolves on top, 8-2, and BSU garnered just one baserunner in the seventh as the Wolves completed the double-header sweep and split the series.
Mike Paulsen evened his season record at 4-4 for the Wolves with a strong seven-inning complete-game effort. He held BSU to six hits and allowed just two earned runs. He struck out one and walked two.
Conversely, BSU starter Josh Langlie (Thief River Falls, Minn.) could not get out of the second inning. He was chased after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks in just an inning and two thirds of work. He fell to 1-3 with the loss. Kevin Morel (Shoreview, Minn.) held the Wolves to one run on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in a strong 4 1/3-inning relief effort to close out the season for BSU.
The four-game series split helped BSU end its 2006 regular season with a record of 10-35 overall, 3-15 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. The pair of wins helped BSU secure fifth place in the NSIC standings. The Wolves ended their season at 11-36 overall, 2-16 in the NSIC.