BEMIDJI, Minn. — Fourteen home runs and 65 runs were totaled in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader Saturday between Bemidji State University and Winona State University at the BSU Baseball Field. The Beavers tallied six of those 14 homers in game two, en route to a 23-12 (8 innings) victory that earned them a split with the Warriors after falling in game one 21-9.
Sophomore Zach Braun (C, Lakeville, Minn.) recorded three home runs in the second game on consecutive at-bats and sophomore Dylan Webb (2B, Ahwatukee, Ariz.) launched two bombs to go 4-for-6 with a team, season-best seven RBIs and four runs scored. Junior Lewis Baumann (SS, Colorado Springs, Colo.) ended the second game with - what else - a grand slam that finished his day 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Braun posted a 5-for-6 game to drive in five runs and score four times. His three home runs and 14 total bases ties the NSIC record this season with WSU’s Nate Van Roekel (vs Northern State, April 7).
The Beavers scored runs in six consecutive innings from the third to the eighth, highlighted by the eight-run fourth that handed BSU a 10-9 lead through four. In the end, the Beavers totaled 22 hits and 21 RBIs. Junior Ryan Van Someren (RHP, Milaca, Minn.) earned the win in game two to move to 2-4 after coming into the game in the second inning with zero outs and hurling seven innings. He allowed four runs (all earned) on nine hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
The 19 victories is the most in a season under head coach Tim Bellew (seventh season) and is also the eighth time in program history a team has reached 19 wins. Only five teams in the history of the program (61 seasons) have reached 20 victories.
Before the Beavers even got to bat in game one the Warriors were leading 6-0 on two, three-run homers in the first after batting through the line-up. WSU picked-up where it left off in the second and Warrior Cody Strang lifted his second 3-run shot of the day over the outfield fence for a 9-0 lead that went to 11-0 before the top of the second was over.
The Beavers got three back in the bottom of the second to trail 11-3. The first two runs were scored on a two-out error by WSU shortstop Seth McMullen off the bat of junior Riley Hirsch (C, Little Falls, Minn.) with the bases loaded. Junior Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/OF, Little Falls, Minn.) then delivered a single to the gap between short and third to plate sophomore Chad Hanson (OF, St. Paul, Minn.) for the third run of the inning.
BSU scored twice in the bottom of the third on a two-out double down the left field line by sophomore Kean Paxton (2B, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) that scored junior Trevor Purvis (OF/P, Rio Rancho, N.M.) from third and senior Mauricio Gomez (Caracas, Venezuela) from second. The score went to 12-5 in the top of the fourth on a lead-off, first pitch homer to left by Derek Wojcik – his second and the team’s fourth of the day. A two-run fifth for the Warriors handed the road team a 14-5 lead.
Both teams scored twice in the fifth for the scoreboard to read 14-7, but the Warriors doubled-up the lead with a seven-run sixth to open the 21-7 advantage. Baumann got two back for the Beavers in the sixth with a two-run shot over the left field fence for his second home run of the season that also scored senior Juan Molero (Maracaibo, Venezuela).
Junior Ryan Anderson (RHP, Lino Lakes, Minn.) started on the bump for BSU and allowed the three, 3-run shots to total nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits against 11 batters. BSU allowed 20 hits, but recorded 13 of its own. Five players recorded two-hit games. Purvis went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, Baumann went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, Paxton went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, Kalis went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and junior Jaryd Marks (RHP/1B, Cottage Grove, Minn.) was 2-for-5. Gomez recorded a hit to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Game two started off as a case of déjà vu for the Beavers, as the Warriors scored five in the first – which included a 3-run home run – and four in the second – which also included a 3-run bomb. This time senior Kaleb Dingman (RHP, Rawling, Wyo.) was the victim of the Winona State bats, as he exited the game in the second after allowing eight earned runs on seven hits.
The Beavers scored twice in the third on a wild pitch and error and a Marks single. The Beavers then constructed an eight-run fourth that handed it a 10-9 lead. The fourth started with two walks to Baumann and Hirsch, then a laced double to the right center gap by Purvis that plated both base runners. Braun hit his first home run in the game over the left field wall to make the score 9-6. With zero outs the Warriors changed pitchers, but an error by third baseman kept the inning alive with no outs. Kalis reached on the error and moved to second on a passed ball, which set-up a one out double by Gomez to plate Kalis. Molero walked for a first and second opportunity for Webb, who lifted a 1-0 pitch to left for a three-run bomb to hand the home team the 10-9 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as Winona State hit a first pitch home run in the fifth to tie the game and added another run in the frame to take an 11-10 advantage. Braun responded with his second homer to lead-off the bottom half of the inning, then Webb capped the bottom half with another 3-run shot to left center that bounced off the top of the wall and over for his second long ball. The fortunate bounce gave BSU a 14-11 lead that would eventually be enough to earn the victory.
Webb also got it done in the field, starting with stabbing a back-handed grounder up the middle that started a double play to end a threat in the sixth. Getting out of the inning with no Winona State runs set up Braun’s third home run in the sixth - a two-run shot - to give the Beavers a 16-11 lead. Two more runs came in the seventh on a Baumann single up the middle that plated Molero. Webb also scored on the play - he reached base after a double to right center - after the catcher tried to get Baumann advancing to second and threw the ball into center field.
WSU scored one in the eighth and should of had two if it weren’t for the range of Webb. The second baseman moved all the way to his left to field a softly hit grounder in the hole, spun and threw out the third out of the inning at first to save a run from third. BSU loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth before Webb singled down the left field line to score the first run (Kalis) before Baumann lifted the ball over the 25-foot fence in left for the game-winning grand slam.
Everyone that batted got a hit for BSU in game two. Gomez went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Purvis (2-for-5, two runs, two RBI), Kalis (2-for-6, two runs) and Marks (2-for-6, 1 one run, one RBI) also produced multi-hit games.
The Beavers close the four-game series with WSU April 29 with 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).