BISMARCK, N.D. — The Bemidji State University baseball split a road Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader Wednesday against University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. The Beavers fell in game one 7-4 before they posted a 6-5 game two victory to move to 18-22 overall and 11-15 in NSIC play. The 18 victories ties for the most in a season under head coach Tim Bellew and is also the ninth time in program history a team has reached 18 wins.
With 10 games remaining, the Beavers have an opportunity to reach 20 wins for the sixth time in program history and be the first squad since the 1997 team went 22-22. The 1993 team has the program record for wins with 27.
The Beavers found themselves down 3-0 after two innings and 6-1 through three frames in game one, getting the one run in the third on a single by freshman Tyler Nelson (3B, Hayfield, Minn.) that plated sophomore Kean Paxton (2B, Brooklyn Park, Minn.). Junior left-hander Phil Bray (Chatfield, Minn.) started the first game for BSU and allowed the seventh run in the fourth before exiting the game. He allowed the seven runs (five earned) on eight hits.
Facing a 7-1 deficit the Beavers were able to produce a three-run fifth to cut the U-Mary lead to 7-4. All three runs were scored with two outs, as junior Jaryd Marks (RHP/1B, Cottage Grove, Minn.) came through with a single through the right side that scored Paxton from third and sophomore Chad Hanson (OF, St. Paul, Minn.) from second. Junior Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/OF, Little Falls, Minn.) then crossed the pate on a senior Mauricio Gomez (3B, Caracas, Venezuela) base knock through the left side. With runners on first and second, the Marauders made a pitching change and sophomore Zach Braun (C, Lakeville, Minn.) stepped to the plate. Braun found the ball on his barrel and hit a shot to right center field, but U-Mary right fielder Michael Stevenson tracked the ball and made a diving catch into the wall to end the inning and save two runs from scoring on the play.
BSU couldn’t find any more runs in the final two innings and left three of its eight runners on base in the sixth and seventh to fall 7-4. Junior Ryan Anderson (RHP, Lino Lakes, Minn.) allowed one hit in 2.2 innings of work with three strikeouts. Marks went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Paxton posted a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored.
Game two tilted towards the Beavers early, as the road team posted a four-run third inning, guided by a bases-clearing triple from Kalis. After a U-Mary error put a base runner on first to open the inning, BSU was able to load the bases for Kalis’ third triple of the season. He was plated by Marks on a ground out to second that gave the Beavers the 4-0 lead.
BSU added one more in the top of the fourth for a 5-0 advantage, but the momentum didn’t last long, as the Marauders tallied four in the bottom of the fourth to trail 5-4, which included lead-off error by BSU and a three-RBI triple from U-Mary’s Steven Pletan.
The Beavers were able to get one back in the top of the fifth when Gomez scored off the bat of junior Trevor Purvis (OF/P, Rio Rancho, N.M.) after reaching base on a double to right center. BSU rode a 6-4 lead to the eighth where the Marauders scored one to cut the deficit in half heading into the decisive ninth inning.
Entering his second inning on the mound, Kalis pitched a quick 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season. Marks started on the bump for the Beavers and threw seven innings with seven strikeouts. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk.
Junior Lewis Baumann (MIF, Colorado Springs, Colo.) guided the 12 BSU hits by going 3-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored. Kalis started the game at first and went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and a run scored. Purvis went 2-for-5 with an RBI and senior Juan Molero (Maracaibo, Venezuela) was 2-for-5 with a run scored. Gomez posted a hit in each game to extend his hitting streak to eight.
The Beavers open a six-game homestand to close their 2012 home schedule April 28-29 when Winona State University visits Bemidji, Minn. for a pair of doubleheaders that are each slated for a 12 p.m. first pitch.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).