Bemidji State swept by Minn.-Duluth, 4-1 and 4-3 (8 inn.)
Saturday, April 26, 2003
April 26, 2003
Beavers held to two hits in 4-1 Game 1 loss; Bulldogs score two in the eighth in Game 2 to complete sweep

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] Minnesota-Duluth used strong efforts by its starting pitching and timely late-inning hitting to sweep a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference baseball double-header at Bemidji State, 4-1 and 4-3 in eight innings. The sweep gave UMD a series victory over the Beavers, taking three of four games played this weekend at BSU Baseball Field.

• GAME 1: Minnesota-Duluth’s Brandon Broxey held Bemidji State to just one run with a two-hit gem, sparking the Bulldogs to a 4-1 victory in the opening game of an NSIC double-header.

Broxey allowed just two hits, both to John Czech, on a solo home run to open the second inning and a single to lead off the home half of the seventh, but otherwise was untouchable. He allowed just six total baserunners, as he hit three batters and walked one in addition to Czech’s two hits.

The Bulldogs gave Broxey all the support he’d need in the fourth, when they plated four runs with two out in the inning. Alex Johnson stood on second with two out after BSU starter Scott Pugliese caught a line drive back to the mound off the bat of Adam Keeler. But he then walked Nate Taran and surrendered a hard-hit three-run home run over the left field monster to UMD’s nine-hole hitter, Corey Koidahl. He then walked Greg Aker, who scored from first on an RBI double to left center by Broxey.

Aside from the rocky second inning, Pugliese kept BSU in the game. He allowed just three hits outside the second inning, and from the third inning on allowed just two Bulldogs to reach as far as third base. However, with Broxey’s gem keeping the Beaver hitters at bay, it was not enough.

Pugliese yielded to Dan Wagner with one out in the seventh after giving up a double and a walk. Wagner lasted one batter, whom he walked, before Kyal Brandt came on to record the game’s final two outs. Pugliese took the loss and remained winless on the season, now 0-7.

• GAME 2: Bemidji State scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to force the first extra-inning game at BSU Baseball Field in more than three years.

Minn.-Duluth held a 2-0 lead after four innings, getting a run in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Tim Battaglia and Joe Korneta and a run in the fourth on a solo home run by Nate Cermak.

The Bulldogs also held BSU down with the strong pitching effort of starter Scott Christenson. He allowed just one hit and two total BSU baserunners in the first four innings before fading in the fifth as the Beavers put together their rally.

After notching just three total hits in the first 11 innings of today’s double-header, BSU struck for two runs on four hits in the fifth and with some smarter baserunning could have had more. Dan Marshall led off the inning with a single to right. John Grindeland came to bat and grounded to the pitcher, reaching on a fielder’s choice when a Christenson throwing error went into center field and left Marshall safe at second. But Marshall got greedy and tried to take third base, where he was thrown out 8-5 for the first out of the frame.

That mistake would prove costly, as Chris Dvorak singled to score Grindeland in BSU’s next at-bat. The Beavers then picked up consecutive hits from Isaac Smieja and Brian Beuning. Smieja was replaced with pinch runner Matt Waldoch, and Beuning beat out a grounder to short for a base hit. The throw was low and got away from UMD first baseman Joe Korneta. On the error, Smieja went to third and Dvorak scored unearned to tie the score at 2-2.

BSU knocked Christenson out of the game, literally, when Brad Johnson came to bat following Beuning’s infield hit. Johnson laced a ball up the middle of the infield which struck Christenson on the right ankle, sending him collapsing to the field. In a fortuitous bounce for the Bulldogs, though, the ball deflected off Christenson to catcher Mike Hanson, who fielded the carom and tagged out Waldochwho was attempting to score from third. Shaun Ross then erased Mike Carlson, on as a runner for Johnson, on a fielder’s choice to end the rally.

BSU got just one baserunner in the sixth and seventh innings, while starting pitcher Tyler Norland strengthened late in the game. After a Tim Battaglia double with one out in the fifth, Norland retired nine consecutive Bulldog hitters, stretching into the eighth inning. But with one out in the eighth, Battaglia singled and in UMD’s next at-bat, Korneta crushed a towering home run over the left field wall to put the Bulldogs ahead, 4-2. A single to Cernak followed, sending Norland to the bench. Beuning came on and retired the final two Bulldog hitters to send the game to the home half of the eighth.

The Beavers led off the home half of the eighth with a walk and a single off reliever Shawn Tremaine. Ross grounded out to second to score Beuning, pulling BSU within a run at 4-3, but Tremaine induced a flyout to left from John Czech and struck out Aaron Schmitz to end the rally and give the Bulldogs a one-run victory.

Christenson got the win, improving to 5-2 while Tremaine earned his third save. Norland fell to 3-2 for the Beavers.

BSU dropped to 11-23 and saw its NSIC mark even at 9-9. UMD improved to 27-8, 12-2 in the NSIC. The Bulldogs have won three in a row from BSU after the Beavers had taken three of the previous four meetings. Bemidji State’s next scheduled action comes Monday, April 28 in a non-conference double-header at North Dakota State.