North Dakota crushes Bemidji State, 23-1 and 18-7, in twinbill
Monday, April 28, 2003
April 28, 2003
UND’s Jason Fairchild hits three triples in Game 2, second-most in NCAA history

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] As the forces of the Empire prepared to crush the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, Darth Vader claimed “this will be a day long remembered.”

Likewise, today will be a day long remembered for Jason Fairchild and the North Dakota baseball team. Fairchild led the Fighting Sioux to a double-header sweep of Bemidji State, 23-1 and 18-7, with an historic two-game performance. He went 7-for-10 in the double-header with six RBI and eight runs scored. In Game 2, Fairchild was 4-for-4 with three triples, tied for second-most in a game in NCAA history. His eight runs scored matched the total for the entire BSU lineup in the double-header, which took five hours and six minutes of game time to complete.

The 41 runs allowed by BSU are the most it has surrendered in a double-header since March 6, 1997 when BSU was beaten 27-2 and 17-5 by Pittsburg State. The 23 runs in Game 1 are the most allowed by BSU since a 25-5 loss to St. Cloud State on April 23, 2002.

GAME 1: North Dakota scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, running away with a 23-1 Game 1 win over Bemidji State. The Fighting Sioux scored runs in all but the second and sixth innings, including a nine-run fifth. The Beaver defense committed a season-high six errors, the most by a BSU team since April 1, 2000 when the team also committed six miscues in an 18-2 loss to Winona State. The six errors led to 11 unearned North Dakota runs.

BSU’s lone run came in the fourth inning. Chris Dvorak reached on a fielding error with one out and came around to score on a Brian Beuning sacrifice fly.

Dan Wagner started on the hill for BSU. He allowed 10 runs (eight earned) on six hits in four innings. Mike Fore pitched two-thirds of an inning in the fifth, surrendering nine runs although none were earned. William Piniero pitched the final two and a third innings, allowing four runs on four hits. Wagner took the loss and fell to 2-2.

Brent Sukut pitched five innings for UND, allowing just one unearned run on four hits to earn the win. Travis Sexton threw two innings of no-hit relief to close the game. UND’s seven- and eight-hole hitters dominated, combining to go 5-for-11 with eight RBI and five runs scored. Right-fielder Jason Fairchild finished 3-for-6 with four RBI and four runs scored from the seven hole; Nate Mickelson went 2-for-5 with four RBI in the eight hole.

GAME 2: Bemidji State scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning to even the game at 5-5, but a powerful North Dakota lineup would not let up as the Fighting Sioux completed a two-game sweep, 18-7.

Fairchild’s three triples were merely the highlight of the offensive onslaught. With the score tied 5-5 heading into the fifth, the Sioux again unloaded on the Beavers. After scoring nine runs in the fifth inning of Game 1, the Sioux plated seven runs in the fifth of Game 2. The first six UND batters reached base and scored in the frame. Fairchild’s second triple, a grand slam from Travis Koehn and a solo home run from Luke Teagle highlighted the inning for UND.

Blair Mileski hit a gargantuan home run to right field in the top of the sixth which landed in the middle of the outfield of BSU’s softball diamond. The softball outfield fence is 20 feet beyond the baseball fence in right, with the distance on the home run estimated at nearly 400 feet.

BSU picked up single runs in the fifth and sixth, but UND countered with two runs in the sixth and a four-run seventh to put the game out of reach.

Ryan Risbrudt started and took the loss for BSU, falling to 1-1. He pitched 4.1 innings, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits with five walks and two strikeouts. Dave Zothman relieved Risbrudt in the fifth and worked an inning and a third. He allowed five runs (five earned) on six hits - three of which were home runs - with a strikeout. Jeff Sjaaheim worked the seventh to close the game, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits.

Seven BSU hitters had one hit each in the contest. Isaac Smieja scored two runs and Charlie Plumadore had three RBI.

Jeff Reinke picked up the win in relief of Jason King for the Sioux. King allowed five runs on four hits in three innings, while Reinke allowed two runs on two hits in three innings. Nate Brown pitched the seventh, allowing a hit in one inning of work.

Bemidji State falls to 11-25 on the season after the sweep, while North Dakota improved to 26-12. BSU is back in action April 30 when it hosts St. Cloud State in a non-conference double-header. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the BSU Baseball Field.