PLAINVIEW, Texas (Wilder Field) - Bemidji State and Wayland Baptist each scored three runs in the first inning, and the Beavers grabbed a 4-3 advantage on a sacrifice fly by Matt Pesta (Long Prairie, Minn.) in the fourth, but the Pioneers piled on nine runs in the fourth and rode strong relief pitching to post a 21-4 victory over the Beavers in non-conference play.
After a five-RBI day in Monday’s BSU victory, Pesta continued his tear with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to help stake the Beavers to a 3-0 lead. John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) singled to right with one out to score Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.), and Pesta’s second home run of the season scored Middendorf to give BSU the early lead.
BSU starter Chuck Erlandson (Moorhead, Minn.) retired the first two batters he faced in the home half of the first, then surrendered five consecutive hits as the Pioneers fought back to tie the score. Trey Roberson singled and later stole second, and was driven home on a Joe Covarrubias single to tie the game at 3-3 before Matt Knobbe struck out to end the rally.
The 3-3 tie held until the third, when BSU picked up a single run to recapture the lead. Middendorf led off the inning with a walk and would score on a one-out sacrifice fly to center by Pesta, who picked up his eighth RBI of the series.
Wayland Baptist put two men on and executed a double-steal with one out in the fourth, and Chasen DeLeon’s three-run home run kicked off a nine-run inning which helped the Pioneers recapture the lead and put the game out of reach. Covarrubias and Sam Hayden later added two-run doubles, and Todd Jeffress and Johnathan Reynoso pitched in RBI singles to cap the rally. Reynoso ended the rally after being thrown out trying to steal his second base of the inning.
The rally helped settle Pioneer starter Stephen Anderson, who shut the door on the BSU offense in innings five through eight. He retired all nine Beaver hitters he faced in the fifth, sixth and seventh while walking one and seeing pinch-hitter Tadcg Baucom (Chicago, Ill.) reach on an error before slamming the door in the eighth.
Jacob Palomarez allowed one hit and walked two in the ninth to keep BSU scoreless over the game’s final five innings.
While BSU’s offense was stifled by Anderson and Palomarez, the Pioneer batters did not cool down and used the nine-run fourth to light a streak of five consecutive innings with a run scored. Wayland Baptist picked up a run on an RBI groundout in the fifth, garnered a three-run home run from Reynoso in the sixth, picked up four runs on four hits, capped by a two-RBI double by DeLeon in the seventh, and wrapped up the 17-run victory with an Armando Garza RBI double in the eighth.
Anderson pitched eight innings and allowed all four BSU runs (four earned) on six hits. He struck out seven and walked two to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Erlandson lasted 3.1 innings in the start for BSU, allowing eight runs (eight earned) on 10 hits, with one walk and five strikeouts. He yielded to Eddie Johnson (Bemidji, Minn.) after allowing back-to-back singles following DeLeon’s fourth-inning home run, and Johnson allowed eight runs (eight earned) on six hits with a pair of walks in just an inning and two thirds. Casey Allar (Sartell, Minn.) relieved Johnson and pitched the sixth and seventh innings, while Josh Langlie (Thief River Falls, Minn.) struck out two in the eighth.
Erlandson took the loss in his first decision of the year, with his record falling to 0-1.
BSU’s pitching staff struck out 11 and allowed just three walks, but was peppered for 21 hits. Four Bemidji State errors led to four unearned runs in the contest, giving the Pioneers 11 unearned runs so far in the two-game series.
Six Pioneer hitters recorded multiple hits in the contest, led by DeLeon, Iverson and Hayden with three hits each. DeLeon went 3-for-5 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored; Iverson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored; and Hayden was 3-for-4 with three RBI. Reynoso was 2-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored from his leadoff position.
BSU’s seven hits were collected by seven different players. Pesta went 1-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Beaver hitters.
Bemidji State fell to 1-5 with the loss, while Wayland Baptist improved to 4-12 overall. The teams wrap a three-game series today with a single nine-inning game slated for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch at Wayland’s Wilder Field.