Bemidji State splits rain-delayed twinbill with Southwest State
Saturday, April 19, 2003
April 19, 2003
Beavers capture Game 1 of rain-delayed twinbill, 7-0; lose nightcap 9-5

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] The start of the contests were delayed nearly six hours as the Bemidji State baseball staff finished preparing the fields after a four-inch snowfall in Bemidji Wednesday night. But five and a half hours after the scheduled start time, BSU and Southwest State got the games in, with the teams splitting the double-header. The Beavers captured Game 1, 7-0, while the Mustangs rallied for a 9-5 Game 2 win.

• GAME 1: Bemidji State rode a stellar effort by starting pitcher Tyler Norland, who threw a four-hit shutout and led BSU to its third consecutive victory in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.

Norland threw a gem, allowing just six baserunners in the game. He faced just one over the minimum through the first 4.2 innings and at one point retired nine consecutive hitters. Norland allowed a single to center fielder Nick Rohne, the game’s second batter, and from there retired three in a row until a Scott Becker single in the second. Norland picked Becker off, and from there retired the next nine Mustang hitters.

The streak of consecutive retired batters was snapped when Brad Hundt reached on an error in the fifth. He allowed a single to the following batter, Derek Rignell, then settled and retired seven of the game’s final nine batters to complete the shutout.

The win improved Norland to a team-best 3-1, and hurled the team’s second shutout this season. It also marked BSU’s first shutout of an NSIC foe since blanking Minn.-Morris, 5-0, on April 21, 2002.

Norland got all the support he’d need in the first inning. Brian Beuning led off the game by lacing an 0-2 fastball into right field for a double, and after a Brad Johnson single would come around to score on a double-play grounder from John Czech. Tony Klaers later singled to score Johnson, giving BSU a 2-0 lead and all the runs Norland would need.

BSU added a pair of runs in the second on an error and a groundout to short to go up 4-0, then tacked on three runs in the fifth. Only one of the three runs were earned as the Beavers took advantage of errors on Southwest’s shortstop and first baseman.

• GAME 2: Bemidji State got off to a strong start in Game 2, as the first five Beaver hitters in the second inning reached base and scored to give the team a 5-1 advantage.

Little did they know, that single-inning explosion would be all the offense the Beavers would generate. After the rocky second inning, Mustang hurler Pat O’Brien settled and turned in a dominant effort. He allowed just two hits after the second - a third-inning single to Tony Klaers and a fifth-inning single to Brian Beuning.

The only other baserunner O’Brien allowed was on a walk to John Grindeland to lead off the sixth, but two straight strikeouts and a groundout to short left him stranded at first. He slammed the door by striking out five of BSU’s final six batters, including the side on just 16 pitches in the seventh.

O’Brien’s dominance allowed the Mustangs to fight their way back into the game. SSU picked up a pair of runs in the third inning on a two-run single from Derek Rignell to pull within 5-3, then grabbed the lead for good with a four-run fifth. BSU starter Al Ryan was chased after allowing four of the first five men he faced to reach base, and Beuning surrendered two-out, a bases-clearing single to Nick Rohne for the inning’s big blow.

The Mustangs tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth to cap the 9-5 comeback victory.

Ryan suffered the loss and dropped to 1-5. He allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in 4.2 innings. He struck out seven and walked five. Beuning pitched 2.1 innings in relief, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.

O’Brien improved to 3-0.

With the split, Bemidji State’s record moved to 10-20 on the season, 8-6 in NSIC play. Southwest State moved to 22-15, 13-5 in circuit play.

The teams are scheduled to wrap up their four-game series tomorrow at noon, although anticipated poor weather conditions in the Bemidji area threaten to wash out the games. No decision will be made on cancelling or playing the games until near the time of tomorrow’s scheduled first pitch. BSU has now had eight games rescheduled and three cancelled due to inclement weather so far in 2003.