Bemidji State completes season sweep of UM-Morris, 5-0 and 4-3
Sunday, April 21, 2002
April 21, 2002
box scores - [game 1][game 2]

BEMIDJI, Minn. - It was more difficult than they probably expected coming into today’s double-header, but the Bemidji State Beavers completed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota, Morris Cougars with 5-0 and 4-3 wins today at the BSU Baseball Field. BSU trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in Game 2 and needed two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the win and complete the sweep.

The Beavers have now won six consecutive games overall and seven in a row against NSIC foes, solidifying their run at an NSIC regular-season championship and an opportunity to host the post-season tournament. BSU has four NSIC games remaining on its schedule - a double-header at UM-Duluth on April 27 and a home double-header with the Bulldogs on April 28.

BSU picked up another strong pitching performance in Game 1 of today’s double-header, as Shaun Zenner hurled a seven-inning complete game to pick up his team-leading sixth win of the year. Zenner scattered four hits and struck out five, while walking three, in 7.0 innings of work. Morris had base-runners on against Zenner in every inning but the seventh, but only three advanced as far as second base and none reached third. It marked Zenner’s first complete game of the season and his first shutout - but the second consecutive shutout thrown by a BSU starter after Alan Ryan threw a bagel against Morris in Game 2 yesterday.

BSU got the only run it would need in the home half of the first, as Ben Woodford reached on a single to center, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and later scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Shaun Ross. Nate Olson was hit by a pitch with two out in the first but was left stranded.

After Olson was hit, BSU would get just three more baserunners in the next three innings and would not have another solid scoring chance until the fifth. Neil Huewe led off the fifth by reaching on a fielding error by Cougar third baseman Eric Pokornowski, and after a Woodford sacrifice bunt and an infield single by Brian Beuning would score on a two-RBI double from Ross. Ross would later score unearned on a single through the right side by Scott Petrowski to put BSU ahead 4-0.

The Beavers tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, as Woodford reached with a two-out single. He advanced to third on a two-base throwing error from Pokornowski which allowed Beuning to reach safely, and scored on an RBI single from Ross to give BSU its final 5-0 margin.

Ross had a big day at the plate, finishing 2 for 4 with a run scored and four RBI. Woodford was 2 for 3 with two runs scored.

The Beavers then did their best to hand the Cougars their first conference win of the season in Game 2, but pulled the game out in their final at-bat to complete the sweep.

After a scoreless first, the Cougars drew first blood and held their first lead in the series with an unearned run in the top of the second. John Hoemberg reached on a fielding error from BSU shortstop Brian Beuning, and advanced to third on a single from Jeff Wold and a flyout to center by Tony Schuster. Pokornowski put the Cougars on the board with a single through the middle of the infield to drive home Hoemberg, 1-0.

It would take BSU until the bottom of the fourth to plate the equalizer. Starting pitcher Nate Olson reached on a fielders’ choice and advanced to third on a throwing error by Morris starting hurler John Diede and a wild pitch. He later came in to score on an RBI single from Scott Petrowski.

The Cougars regained the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring their only earned run of the contest on a leadoff home run from first baseman Quinn Rosendahl, his first of the season. It was the second home run of the series for the Cougars - and just their third of the season.

BSU evened it up in the home half of the sixth. Beuning led off the frame with a single to left, and advanced to third on a stolen base and a fielding error by second baseman Jeff Wold on the throw from the Morris catcher. He then scored on a single to center from Ross to even the scoreboard at two runs apiece.

Ross was caught stealing, and after Nate Olson singled up the middle Derek Owen filed out to left and Petrowski struck out to end the threat.
The Cougars again recaptured the lead in the top of the seventh. Designated hitter Rory Rohrenbach led off the frame with a single to left, chasing Olson and bringing Beuning in from shortstop to pitch out the seventh. Dave O’Brien welcomed Beuning to the hill with a sacrifice bunt to advance Rohrenbach to second, and shortstop Jeff Michel then pushed him to third with a groundout back to Beuning. Catcher Sam Poegel then grounded a ball to Olson - who had moved from pitcher to shortstop - who fired home in an attempt to nail Rohrenbach at the plate. His throw was high, and Morris took a 3-2 lead.

Gunner Geller led off the home half of the seventh for BSU, having had a tough day at the plate - he was 0 for 4 with a walk in the double-header. But he fired the second pitch he saw in to left field, and it rolled to the fence for a leadoff double. Brad Johnson sacrificed Geller to third base with a bunt back to the pitcher, bringing Neil Huewe to the plate.

Huewe grounded a ball to Michel at shortstop, and Geller charged for the plate from third base. Michel’s throw was high and Huewe scored, while Geller eventually wound up on second base. Zenner, BSU’s Game 1 winner on the mound, was sent in to run for Huewe, and the move paid off. Woodford lined the second pitch he faced into center field and Zenner scored the game-winner from second base.

BSU improved to 18-8 with the double-header sweep, 13-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. Minnesota-Morris fell to 2-20 on the season, seeing its losing streak reach 16 consecutive games in the process, and dropped to 0-10 in NSIC play. BSU is next in action on Tuesday, April 23 with a non-conference double-header against St. Cloud State. First pitch is slated for noon Central time.

• Ben Woodford extended his hitting streak to 22 consecutive games in today's sweep, and Brian Beuning extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The two streaks are the longest two by a BSU player this year.
• BSU has now won each of the last six meetings with UM-Morris, seven in a row in the regular season, and now leads the all-time series 55-52-1.
• BSU is now 9-1 at BSU Baseball Field, its best home record after 10 games in school history. Bob Montebello’s 1982 BSU team started 8-2 at home en route to a 12-2 record in 14 home games and eventually landed a berth in the NAIA World Series. BSU has six home games remaining and will have a chance to break the 1982 team’s school record of 12 home wins.
• BSU’s double-header sweep today gives the team 13 wins against NSIC competition, just one shy of the school record. Jim Grimm’s 1997 BSU team finished a school-record 14-4 in conference play, winning the program’s first NSIC title since 1982. BSU will finish above .500 in league play for just the eighth time since 1960.
• BSU’S 18 wins are the most by a BSU team since 1997 (24-24). The Beavers need two wins in their final 16 games to clinch just the sixth 20-win season in school history and are still in reach of the 1993 team’s school-record total of 27 wins.