Bemidji State sweeps St. Cloud State, 6-3 and 4-3
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
April 30, 2003
BSU’s Shaun Ross collects 100th career hit in Game 2

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] Bemidji State snapped a four-game losing streak and wrapped up non-conference play for 2003 in style, sweeping the St. Cloud State Huskies, 6-3 and 4-3, today at BSU Baseball Field. It marks just the fourth time in the now-107 game history of the series between the programs the Beavers have won back-to-back games against the Huskies.

BSU has won six of the last eight games with St. Cloud State after the Huskies had won 36 of 39 meetings. BSU’s current run is its most successful in the series, which has been dominated by the Huskies to the tune of 84 wins in 107 meetings.

BSU’s Shaun Ross collected his 100th career hit in the fifth inning of Game 2, leading off the frame with a single to right field. He later came around and scored on a Tony Klaers sacrifice fly.

GAME 1: BSU used a strong effort from starting pitcher Al Ryan to hold the Huskies at bay early in Game 1, then rallied for three runs in the sixth and seventh innings to overcome a late St. Cloud State rally in a 6-3 BSU win.

BSU scored the game’s first run in the second inning. After leading off the frame with a single, Klaers scored from second base on a two-base fielding error by Husky center fielder Zach Bertschi.

The Beavers tacked on two runs in the third on a fielding miscue by Husky third baseman Kevin MacDonald, who ignored Brad Johnson at his base while attempting to force Shaun Ross out at second base on a fielder’s choice. MacDonald turned his back to Johnson to make the play at second, and Johnson broke for home and scored. Ross later advanced to third on a sacrifice fly from Klaers, and scored on a Dan Marshall sac fly to give BSU a 3-0 edge.

The Huskies picked up a run in the fourth, scoring Will Spencer on an RBI single from Chase Nelson to pull within 3-1. Ryan yielded to Scott Pugliese to start the fifth inning, and Pugliese put the first two Husky hitters on base with a single and a walk. Both later scored on a two-base throwing error by John Czech which evened the score at 3-3.

But BSU would rally, getting a run in the fifth after Ross’s 100th career safety to take the lead for good, and Johnson and Charlie Plumadore scored insurance runs in the sixth to seal the win.

Pugliese picked up the win, his first of the season, to improve to 1-7. Kyal Brandt pitched the sixth, and Brian Beuning came on to notch the final three outs after Brandt put two on to lead off the seventh, recording his fifth save.

Tim Gillson went the distance for St. Cloud State. He took the loss and fell to 1-6.

GAME 2: Bemidji State blew a 3-0 lead with one out in the seventh, giving up three runs and having the go-ahead run at third base before Brian Beuning closed the door, but pinch-runner Mike Carlson scored on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to give BSU a 4-3 lead and a double-header sweep.

Beuning led off the game with a single and scored on a Brad Johnson single to give BSU a 1-0 advantage, and the Beavers picked up two runs in the fifth on an RBI double from Isaac Smieja to score Jeremy Mellen and a groundout by Johnson to score Smieja to build their 3-0 cushion.

But Mellen led off the seventh by reaching second base on consecutive errors by Husky second baseman Kevin MacDonald, who put Mellen on first with a fielding error and allowed him to take second by sailing the throw back into the infield by the pitcher. Beuning singled Mellen to third, and Johnson was intentionally walked to load the bases for Shaun Ross. Ross struck out, but Husky reliever Chase Nelson couldn’t handle Dan Marshall, whom he walked to plate the winning run.

Tyler Norland got the start on the hill and was a scheduled early exit after striking out seven Huskies in just three innings of work. Russell Berner pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) to get the Huskies back in the game, and Beuning retired the game’s final two batters to earn the win. He improved to 2-2.

Nick Smith pitched well in his season debut for the Huskies. He took the loss, but allowed just three earned runs while scattering nine hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Chase Nelson pitched the final two-thirds of an inning in relief.

Bemidji State improves to 13-25 on the season after the sweep, while St. Cloud State drops to 9-32. BSU wraps up its 2003 campaign with a four-game NSIC series against Concordia St. Paul, May 2-3 at the BSU baseball field. Friday’s double-header is set for a 1:30 p.m. start.