BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - Concordia-St. Paul first baseman Erik Quarberg went 3-for-8 with nine RBI, including an eight-RBI performance in Game 2, to help lift the Golden Bears past Bemidji State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference double-header, 7-2 and 20-6, this afternoon. Quarberg went 0-for-3 with an RBI in Game 1, then erupted to go 3-for-5 with four runs scored and eight RBI in Game 2. Quarberg hit a three-run home run in an eight-run Concordia fifth inning and had a grand slam in a four-run seventh.
Concordia-St. Paul built a 5-0 lead through the top of the sixth inning in Game 1 and rode a complete-game five-hitter from starter Geoff Bray en route to a 7-2 win in the opener.
Bray held BSU without a hit until Matt Pesta (Long Prairie, Minn.) singled through the left side with two out in the fourth, and he took a shutout into the sixth when Pesta put BSU on the board with a two-out solo home run to left field.
While Bray was shutting down the BSU offense, the Golden Bears built a five-run advantage. The Bears led off the contest by loading the bases with none out on a hit batsman, an Andy Judkins double and a fielder’s choice, then scored a pair of runs on a sacrfice fly and an RBI single by Tony Boxwell.
Concordia pushed its lead to 4-0 on a two-RBI single from Galen Wetzell in the top of the fifth, and Bobby Meier singled to lead off the top of the fifth and scored from third on a squeeze bunt from Mason Reinhart later in the inning.
The Bears answered Pesta’s solo home run with two runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. Winegarden and Wetzel drew back-to-back walks to lead off the frame, and Alex Kubal scored them both with a two-RBI double to stake the Bears to a 7-1 advantage.
Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and later scored from third when Dan Zielke (Richfield, Minn.) reached on a fielding error to pull BSU within 7-2.
Chuck Erlandson (Moorhead, Minn.) started for BSU and saw his season record fall to 0-7. He allowed four runs (four earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts. He also walked four and hit two Bear batters. Kevin Morel (Shoreview, Minn.) pitched the sixth and faced four batters without yielding an out in the seventh, allowing three runs (three earned) on two hits. Casey Allar (Sartell, Minn.) faced the final two batters and recorded a strikeout to close out the game for the hosts.
Pesta went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored, and Mike Wagner (Plymouth, N.H.) went 2-for-3. The duo accounted for four of BSU’s five hits in the contest.
Game 2 was never in doubt. Concordia used a five-run second inning, fuelled by a three-run home run from Chris Duda, to grab a 6-0 lead and blew the game wide open with an eight-run fifth to build a 16-2 advantage.
BSU scored twice on solo home runs in the early innings, picking up a one-out shot from Matt Asche (Cedar Falls, Iowa) in the second and a two-out blast from Matt Pesta (Long Prairie, Minn.), but they were not enough to help the Beavers keep pace with the visitors.
Quarberg’s three-run home run with none out in the fifth sparked the eight-run terminator for the Bears. The visitors hit for the cycle in the inning, with the Bears scoring twice on an Alex Kubal triple and picking up an RBI double from pinch-hitter Ted Farni and an RBI single from Bobby Meier.
BSU cut the lead to 16-6 when Pesta hit his second circuit clout in as many at-bats, a grand slam with none out in the sixth.
But the Bears retaliated with Quarberg’s grand slam in the seventh, and from there BSU quietly went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up the game.
BSU committed five errors in the contest, and the miscues led to 12 unearned Concordia runs.
Bemidji State saw its season mark move to 5-27 overall after the sweep, 1-11 in NSIC play, while Concordia-St. Paul moved to 21-10-1 and 7-5 in the league. The teams wrap up their four-game NSIC series with a double-header tomorrow in Bemidji. First pitch for the twinbill is slated for noon Central time at the BSU Baseball Field.