North Dakota State sweeps double-header from Bemidji State
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
DATE: April 1, 2003
Bison win pair of one-run games, 1-0 and 8-7

FARGO, N.D. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] The North Dakota State Bison sent the Bemidji State baseball team to its 10th and 11th consecutive defeats, sweeping a double-header from the Beavers, 1-0 and 8-7, this afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field.

The Bison overcame a strong pitching effort from BSU’s Al Ryan in Game 1. Ryan pitched five innings and allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He was pulled for Brian Beuning after walking Brandon Olson and pinch-hitter Sam Rothstein to open the sixth. Olson’s walk proved to be pivotal; he would steal third base on Beuning and scored the game’s only run on Jeremiah Piepkorn’s single to center.

The Beavers managed just four hits in the contest, and did not have an inning with more than one hit. BSU managed to get a runner past second base just twice in the contest. BSU sent Brad Johnson to third base on a passed ball with one out in the third. But Jeremy Mellen struck out and Chris Dvorak grounded out to short to end the threat. Aaron Schmitz advanced to third on a groundout with two outs in the fifth, but was stranded when Shaun Ross struck out.

Todd Fuller started and went four innings for the Bison. Terry Tchida came on in the fifth and recorded two outs before yielding to Josh Lambert, who picked up the win and improved to 2-0. Ryan took the loss for BSU and dropped to 0-3.

While runs were at a premium in Game 1, the opposite was true in Game 2 as the teams combined to plate 15 runs in the first four innings of an eventual 8-7 North Dakota State victory. The Bison got off to a quick start, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

But BSU rallied with three runs in both the second and third innings. Isaac Smieja pulled BSU even at 3-3 with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double in the top of the second. The Bison then plated a single run in the bottom of the frame, but BSU retaliated with three more runs in the third to take a 6-4 lead. The Beavers scored on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice by Tyler Norland, an RBI single from Jeremy Mellen and a sac fly by Chris Dvorak.

The teams traded runs over the next inning, with NDSU grabbing a run in the bottom of the third and BSU scoring in the top of the fourth on an RBI double from Brad Johnson to give BSU a 7-5 advantage going into the bottom of the fourth.

But it would be short-lived, as the Bison plated three runs in the home half of the fourth on a three-run home run by Sam Rothstein to give NDSU an 8-7 lead.

The defenses finally solidified, with BSU getting shut out in the final three innings and NDSU failing to score in the fifth or sixth. BSU left two on in the fifth, went down in order in the sixth and got a runner as far as second base in the seventh before the rally fell short.

Each team used three pitchers in the contest. Scott Pugliese started for BSU and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on six hits. Kyal Brandt and Brian Beuning threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings for BSU out of the bullpen. Pugliese took the loss and fell to 0-4. Jay Mitchell started for NDSU, allowing six runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings. Terry Tchida finished the third, and Tom Branca pitched the final four innings and earned the win in relief.

Bemidji State sits 2-13 on the season after the sweep. The teams has now lost 11 consecutive games.