Beavers steal two from Mavericks in nonconference doubleheader
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Beavers steal two from Mavericks in nonconference doubleheader
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- For the second consecutive season, the Bemidji State University baseball team downed Minnesota State University, Mankato in a nonconference doubleheader at the H.H.H. Metrodome. Wednesday’s twin-bill sweep came by the scores of 4-3 and 5-1. A year ago tomorrow, BSU won the two contests 5-4 and 4-2. The wins split the four-game set with the Mavericks.

“Our pitching and defense was good all series, then we really started hitting today,” said head coach Tim Bellew. “The wins showed that we can play with anybody as long as we are consistent. Hopefully today is a step forward.”

The Mavericks (6-3) drew first blood in the top of the third inning with their third unearned run of the four-game series, to take a 1-0 lead. The Beavers (9-7) responded in the bottom half of the frame with two runs to grab their first lead of the series. BSU got the runs off the bat of junior third baseman Colton Smith (Waddel, Ari.) who hit a two-out single to right field with the bases loaded, scoring senior catcher Dan Bennett (Hayfield, Minn.), who had been hit by pitch, and junior Doug Peterson (RHP, Bemidji, Minn.), who singled-up the middle to start the inning. MSU tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth, but again the Beavers responded in the bottom half with two runs of their own to take a 4-2 lead. BSU manufactured the first run, starting with Bennett getting beamed with another pitch to reach first with one away. Senior Joe Chism (Great Bend, Kan.) followed with a double to left center, moving Bennett to third. Senior Josh Silvernagel (MIF/RHP, Bismark, N.D.) then came-up and hit a fly ball to right field to score Bennett on the sacrifice and moved Chism to third. Smith struck-out for what would have been the third and final out, but the third strike was a wild pitch that scored Chism and put Smith on first.

Freshman right-hander Logan Kalis (Little Falls, Minn.) pitched the first five innings strong for BSU, but started the sixth with a hit batter and a walk, forcing Bellew to hand the ball over to junior Dan Bauer (RHP, Bemidji, Minn.). MSU moved the runners over a base with a sacrifice bunt, giving the Beavers one out. The next player to the plate grounded out to third, allowing BSU to hold the runners and record the second out. Bauer was looking to save the inning for the Beavers, but a passed ball scored the runner from third, before he struck-out the final batter for MSU in the inning. BSU had four batters in the bottom of the sixth but couldn’t produce an insurance run, sending the game to the seventh inning. Bauer gave-up a hit to the lead-off batter, to give MSU the scoring threat. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and a groundout to second advanced him to third with two outs. Bauer bore-down and was able to strikeout the final batter of the game.

Kalis posted a strong outing after struggling with his control in his last start against St. Cloud State Feb. 26. He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits, while fanning six batters and walking three, en route to the victory that moved him to 2-1 on the season. Bauer earned his first save of the season and his career at BSU, allowing one hit and striking out two. For the second straight game, Chism led the Beavers on offense, going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Smith had one hit and two RBI. Bennet was 0-1, getting hit twice and scoring both times he was given first base.

The success of the second game starts on the mound with freshman Ryan Anderson (Lino Lakes, Minn.) making his first collegiate start for BSU. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts, en route to his first collegiate victory. BSU was able to support Anderson with some runs in the second and third innings. The Beavers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, which started with Bauer striking out, but advancing to first on a wild pitch. Junior Ryan Sander (1B/RHP, St. James, Minn.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bauer to second then D. Peterson knocked a base hit to set-up freshman Lewis Bauman (MIF, Colorado Springs, Colo.), who smacked a double to right center to score both runners. Silvernagel started the third inning with a lead-off double and was driven-in by Bauer with two outs. The Beavers gave-up the one run in the bottom of the third on a lead-off homer from Patrick Dockendorf. Zeros were put on the board by both teams in the fourth and fifth frames before BSU added to its lead with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. In both those innings, the Beavers started with a lead-off double.

Sophomore Ethan Branum (LHP, Brainerd, Minn.) pitched the sixth inning for BSU, allowing one hit. Bauer closed the door on MSU in the seventh, getting two batters to go down on strikes. Bauer was also the top offensive player for the Beavers, goint 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Five other BSU batters recorded hits and Bauman led the squad with two RBI.   

The Beavers end their ‘Metrodome season’ with a 9-7 season record, playing to a 9-5 record against regional opponents. Next-up for BSU is its spring break trip to Kansas and Arkansas. The Beavers travel south to play two nine inning games with Emporia State in Emporia, Kan. March 9-10 and then a nine inning contest with Arkansas Tech March 11 in Russelville, Ark..
 
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

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