EL DORADO, Kan. (McDonald Stadium)- The Emporia State Hornets scored eight unanswered runs in the fourth and fifth innings of Game 1, then used a five-run fifth inning in Game 2 to complete a double-header sweep of Bemidji State in the season opener for the Beavers. Emporia State captured Game 1 by a score of 9-3, and capped the twin-bill with a 5-0 shutout in Game 2. The games were moved to El Dorado, Kan. due to poor field conditions at Emporia State.
BSU broke open a scoreless game and got on the board first in Game 1. Ryan Bohannan (Goodyear, Ariz.) reached on an error by Emporia State shortstop Andy Anderson with two outs in the third inning, then scored on an RBI double by catcher Anthony Stoloski (Half Moon Bay, Calif.).
The Hornets retaliated by scoring four runs in the home half of the third inning and plating four runs in the fourth to build an 8-1 lead. The first three Hornet batters in the third inning reached - on a walk, a hit batsman and an error by third baseman Shaun Corbett (Mora, Minn.) - and a two-run double by ESU’s Keith Hernandez provided the big blow in the four-run frame.
BSU escaped from the third with a double play, stranding a Hornet runner at third base, but after the Beavers were able to get just one runner on base in the top of the fourth the Hornets put the game away in the bottom of the inning. The first three Emporia State hitters in the inning notched base hits off BSU starter Josh Juntunen (Elk River, Minn.), and in total the first five Hornets to the plate hit safely.
BSU chipped away at the seven-run defecit with a single run in the fifth when Stoloski’s RBI single scored P.J. McIntee (Randolph, M inn.), then cut the defecit to 8-3 when McIntee’s RBI single scored Corbett in the sixth, but could draw no closer. Emporia State added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, and a double play helped squash an early BSU rally in the top of the seventh as the Hornets closed out the 9-3 victory.
Stoloski, McIntee and Eric Pilgrim (Park Rapids, Minn.) had two hits apiece for the Beavers, accounting for six of the team’s eight base hits in the contest, and Stoloski paced the Beavers with two RBI.
Juntunen took the loss on the mound for the Beavers, allowing seven runs (six earned) in 3.0 innings of work. He struck two and walked two, allowing six hits and hitting one batter. Casey Allar (Sartell, Minn.), Bryan Buhr (Frazee, Minn.) and Brent Vollbrecht (Morristown, Minn.) pitched in relief; Buhr struck out two of the three batters he faced in helping BSU close out the fifth inning.
Trent Lare worked five innings for the Hornets, picking up his first win of the season. He struck out four and allowed four hits, surrendering two runs (one earned). Andy Krehbiel and Nick Morgan closed out Emporia State’s first win of the season.
Game 2 was a pitcher’s duel early, with both starters working their way out of trouble to take a scoreless game into the home half of the fifth inning. BSU garnered six hits off ESU starter Mickey Lara, but was able to get just three runners as far as second base as Lara and reliever Daniel Waggoner combined for six strikeouts in a 5-0 shutout of the Beavers.
BSU had runners at second and third with two outs in the first inning but was unable to capitalize, and Bohannan advanced to second base after a one-out-single to lead off the third.
BSU starter Kevin Morel (Shoreview, Minn.) was Lara’s equal in the early innings, holding the Hornets to just two hits over the game’s first four innings. ESU third baseman Tim Barger led off the home half of the fifth inning by reaching on a Mike Wagner (Plymouth, N.H>) error, and that miscue opened the doors for a five-run Hornet eruption in the inning. Hernandez walked to load the bases with one out, and a sacrifice fly put the hosts on the board, 1-0. Nick Wolfe was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put the Hornets ahead 2-0, and Nick Carlson cleared the bases with a three-RBI triple to give Lara a 5-0 lead.
BSU’s only baserunner after the five-run eruption came on a two-out walk in the top of the seventh inning.
Morel worked five innings for BSU, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks. He also struck out three. Buhr worked the sixth inning for the Beavers, walking one and not allowing a hit.
Lara improved to 1-1 on the year with his six-inning gem, holding BSU to six hits and striking out five against just one walk. Daniel Waggoner closed the door on the Beavers with a walk and a strikeout in the seventh.
Bemidji State (0-2) and Emporia State (2-4) wrap up a four-game non-conference series with a double-header on Feb. 22.