Bemidji State dominates UM-Morris, 13-1 and 5-0
Saturday, April 20, 2002
April 20, 2002
box scores - [game 1][game 2]

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State Beavers continued their run at a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship today with a dominating double-header sweep of the Minnesota, Morris Cougars, 13-1 and 5-0, at the BSU Baseball Field. Bemidji State’s starting pitching dominated, as Nate Heim and Alan Ryan threw back-to-back complete games for the Beavers and allowed just one earned run on eight hits in the double-header.

Heim turned in perhaps BSU’s finest performance by a starting pitcher this season in Game 1, allowing just four men to reach base and facing just one batter over the minimum in BSU’s 13-1 win. He retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a single to Cougar eight-hole hitter Tony Schuster with one out in the third, but then coaxed a 6-4-3 double-play from third baseman Eric Pokornowski in the ninth slot to get out of the inning. Brent Meissner led off the top of the fourth reaching on a fielding error by BSU third baseman Neil Huewe, but he also was erased on a double-play in the next Cougar at-bat.

Jeff Wold ended the shutout with a home run to left field - Morris trailed 12-0 at the time - to lead off the sixth. The only other Cougar baserunner came on a Rory Rohrenbach pinch-hit single to lead off the seventh - and as had happened with two of the previous three Cougar runners, he was erased on a double-play in the next Morris at-bat. The three double-plays turned by BSU is a season high.

Wold’s home run was just his second hit of the season, and just the second home run of the year for the Cougars.

Heim got the win and improved to 4-0 on the year. He struck out a season-high four batters and walked none.

BSU wasted no time getting Heim all the run support he would need, as the first six BSU batters reached safely with a base hit and eventually scored in what became an eight-run frame in the home half of the first. Ben Woodford had a pair of singles in the inning and scored two runs, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.

BSU plated three more runs in the fourth, with two runs scoring from third base on passed balls by Meissner. Meissner had four passed balls in the contest, and every BSU runner who advanced a base on a passed ball eventually scored. Shaun Ross doubled and scored in the fifth and Gunner Geller led off the home half of the sixth by reaching on a fielding error by Pokornowski and later came home to round out the BSU scoring in a 13-1 win.

Perhaps not wanting to be shown up after Heim’s performance in Game 1, Alan Ryan took the hill in Game 2 and turned in a similarly stellar performance. Ryan, who had been 0-2 on the season coming in, pitched a complete-game shutout, scattering five hits and striking out eight batters while walking only two. Ryan’s eight strikeouts is a new season high for a BSU hurler.

BSU didn’t get on the board in Game 2 until the third inning, but plated four runs in that frame to give Ryan all the help he’d need. Gunner Geller led off the inning with a bunt single and later scored on Ben Woodford’s RBI double. A single from Bryan Beuning and a walk issued to Shaun Ross loaded the bases for Nate Olson, who plated Woodford with a sac fly to right. Ross would later score, unearned, after a fielding error by Brent Meissner allowed Scott Petrowski to reach base with two out, and BSU left the third inning up 4-0.

Woodford’s RBI double extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games, the longest streak by a BSU player this season. Beuning’s single in the first extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the second-longest streak by a BSU hitter this year behind only Woodford.

The Beavers added an insurance run in the fourth, also unearned, after Huewe reached on Meissner’s second error in two chances and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Beuning.

BSU improved to 16-8 with the double-header sweep, 11-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. Minnesota-Morris fell to 2-18 on the season, seeing its losing streak reach 14 consecutive games in the process, and dropped to 0-8 in NSIC play. The two teams wrap up their series with a double-header tomorrow at the BSU Baseball Field. First pitch is slated for noon Central time.

• BSU has now won each of the last four meetings with UM-Morris, five in a row in the regular season, and now leads the all-time series 53-52-1.
• BSU is now 7-1 at BSU Baseball Field, its best record after eight home games since 1982. The 1982 team also started 7-1 at home en route to an appearance in the NAIA World Series. Bob Montebello’s 1982 team finished 12-2 in 14 home games.