In Game 1 the Beavers rode another strong pitching performance from Josh Juntunen (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) as he pitched his team leading third complete game improving his record to 5-3 on the season. Juntunen stuckout eight U-Mary batters while surrendering five runs (five earned) off nine U-Mary hits.
The Marauders jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as U-Mary platted three runs in the top of the first inning. Andy Leer led the inning off with a walk and moved to third on a single by Adrian Garcia. Michael Feldman reached on a fielder’s choice allowing Leer to score from third for the first run of the game. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Brennan Quintus and Casey Gray would allow two more runs to score to give UM a 3-0 advantage after a half inning of play.
After picking up just three base runners through the first three innings the Beavers would take advantage of some Marauder errors in the fourth and generate its biggest inning of the season platting nine runs. Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif.) led the fourth off with a single followed by Juntunen reaching on an error by first baseman Tyler Liffrig and Nick Jelacie (Fr., Brainerd, Minn.) getting hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.
Shaun Corbett (Sr., Mora, Minn.), Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.), J.J. Swalbowski (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.), Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.) and Stoloski would all pick up RBIs to give BSU a 5-4 lead before Juntunen provided the biggest blow of the inning. With two outs and the bases loaded Juntunen would cap the scoring for the Beavers with a grand slam home run to give BSU a 9-3 lead. The homer was Juntunen’s fourth of the season.
In the top of the sixth U-Mary closed the Beavers lead to four, 9-5, as Casey Gray hit a two-run home run, his third of the season. Juntunen answered Gray in the bottom of the sixth with his second home run of the game to put BSU back in front by six, 11-5. Juntunen struckout the side in the bottom of the seventh to earn his team leading fifth win of the season.
Justin Huether (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.) and Juntunen each went 2-for-4 with Juntunen driving in a career best six runs with two home runs and three runs scored.
Nate Watson took the loss for the Marauders on the mound as he went 3.1 innings allowing seven runs (three earned) off six hits with one strikeout and one walk falling to 3-4 on the season. Blaze Culliton and Tim Long each pitched in relief with Culliton throwing 2.0 innings giving up four runs (four earned) off four hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Long worked just two thirds of an inning allowing just two hits.
In Game 2 the Beavers jumped out to an early 4-1 led through three innings of play but saw the Marauders plate three runs in the fourth inning to tie the game at 4-4 and eventually score the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to earn a 5-4 victory and garner a doubleheader split with BSU.
In the bottom of the first Stoloski kept the inning alive with a two-out single to get the hot bat of Juntunen to the plate. Juntunen would unleash his third home run of the day and sixth of the season to give BSU an early 2-0 lead.
The Marauders cut the lead in half in the second as Liffrig led the inning off with his second triple of the season and then scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by Quintus.
BSU pushed its lead to three runs in the third, 4-1, when the Beavers first three batters reached base to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Juntunen drove in his ninth run of the day with a sacrifice fly to right field and Huether came into score when Ryan Bohannan reached on a error by UM second baseman Casey Gray to give BSU the three run lead.
U-Mary tied the contest up with three runs of its own in the top of the fourth getting a two-RBI double from Liffrig and a RBI single by Watson to knot the game at 4-4.
In the top of the seventh, leadoff batter Ryan Lee hit a solo home run to give the Marauders their first lead of the game, 5-4, that would prove to be the game winning run.
The Beavers got runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh inning but they would ended up stranded as the Beavers dropped their seventh one-run game of the season, 5-4.
Bemidji State used three pitchers in the contest. Huether got his first start of the season going five innings allowing four runs (four earned) off four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Randy Amos (Jr., Wilmington, N.C.) and Ryan Bohannan each worked an inning of relief. Amos surrendered the loss falling to 0-2 on the season.
Michael Feldman improved his record to 3-6 on the season with the win allowing four runs (three earned) off eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Rich Bohannan and Huether each went 2-for-4 at the plate each scoring a run with Juntunen picking up all three RBIs in the contest for BSU.
BSU’s split leaves the Beavers and the Marauders tied at 3-3 in the all-time series.
The split moved Bemidji State to 14-21-1 overall and 12-10 in NSIC play; the Marauders are now 16-28 overall and 13-13 in the NSIC. Bemidji State’s 14-wins is the most since the 2004 season when BSU finished 14-34. BSU’s 12 NSIC victories is the most since 2002 when the Beavers were 13-3 in conference play.
The Beavers are back in action on May 3-4 when BSU travels to Wayne, Neb. for a four-game NSIC series with Wayne State College to wrap up regular season play. Game time for Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. with Sunday’s twinbill slated for a 12 p.m. start.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).