Bemidji State caps 2003 campaign with twinbill split vs Concordia
Saturday, May 3, 2003
May 3, 2003
Beavers rally for 12-9 win in Game 1, allow five home runs in 11-7 Game 2 loss

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [game 1 box][game 2 box] Bemidji State’s 2003 baseball campaign came to an end this afternoon, with the Beavers splitting a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference double-header with the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. BSU rallied from a 9-6 deficit with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 12-9 decision in Game 1, then allowed a season-high five home runs in an 11-7 Game 2 setback.

GAME 1: Bemidji State had the bats going early, holding a 6-3 lead after the home half of the third inning, but a six-run fifth by Concordia-St. Paul left BSU staring at a 9-6 deficit and needing a rally to ensure itself of finishing at least .500 in NSIC play.

And a rally it got. John Czech led off the inning with a flyout to center, but Tony Klaers got the rally underway with a solo home run to right field - against a stiff wind blowing across the field - to pull BSU within 9-7. Dan Marshall followed Klaers with a double, but BSU’s hopes for a comeback appeared to fade when Tyler Norland followed with a pop-out to first base.

However, Jeremy Mellen reached on an error in BSU’s next at-bat and opened the floodgates. After Mellen got on, the next four BSU batters reached base - three via singles and one hit batsman - to score five unearned runs and steal the 12-9 victory. Charlie Plumadore singled and later scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Brad Johnson was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in the win, one of six BSU players with two or more hits in the game. Klaers went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored; Plumadore was 3-for-4 with two runs scored out of the nine hole; and three BSU players had two hits.

Al Ryan started on the hill and lasted 4.1 innings; he allowed nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits while striking out four and walking two. Ryan Risbrudt earned the win in relief, allowing just two hits in 1.2 innings, to improve to 2-1. Beuning pitched the seventh to earn his team-leading sixth save.

GAME 2: Concordia-St. Paul hit five home runs - all to left field with the prevailing winds - and halted a BSU rally in the bottom of the seventh at four runs to close BSU’s 2003 campaign with an 11-7 win.

The Golden Bears set the tone right away, as pitcher Matt Borman cranked the first pitch of the game from Beaver starter Brian Beuning over the fence in left field. Concordia would get three more home runs off of Beuning, who was starting in his last game in BSU green after a standout career as a shortstop and All-NSIC relief pitcher. Jared Johnson connected on a two-run shot in the second; Matt Schlundt on a two-run home run in the third and Steve Butler with a two-run shot which finally chased Beuning in the fifth.

Tyler Norland came on in relief of Beuning and held the Bears in check until the seventh, when the long-ball again played a factor. Johnson extended Concordia’s lead to 10-2 with his second home run of the day, a two-run blast, and Andy Hanson doubled and scored to leave the Beavers staring at an 11-2 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Despite the nine-run deficit, BSU attempted a rally. John Czech led off the home half of the seventh by reaching on a fielding error by shortstop Andy Hanson. Czech was lifted for pinch-runner Mike Carlson, who immediately reached third when Hanson’s throw on a fielder’s choice attempt went wild in BSU’s next at-bat. Norland singled Carlson home to pull BSU within 11-3.

Chris Dvorak fouled out to first base, but Jeremy Mellen responded with a three-run bomb to left field to give BSU some life. But Plumadore struck out swinging and Beuning flied out to left to end the rally, and end BSU’s season with an 11-7 loss.

Beuning and Czech had two hits apiece for BSU in the losing effort. Beuning also took the loss on the mound, falling to 2-3 after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in 4.0 innings of work. He struck out four and walked none. Norland pitched the final 3.0 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Johnson finished 2-for-4 with two home runs, two runs scored and four RBI for the Bears. Borman pitched a complete game, remaining perfect at 5-0 after scattering 10 hits and allowing six runs (four earned). He supported his own cause by going 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI.

BSU finishes its 2003 season at 15-27 overall, 11-11 in NSIC play. The 11 wins in head coach Chris Brown’s first year as BSU head coach mark the second-highest total of conference wins by a first-year head coach at BSU. The Beavers also became just the ninth team in school history to play 40 or more games in a season, with its 42 games tied for seventh-most all-time. Also, BSU won 15 or more games for just the second time since 1997.

Concordia-St. Paul is 21-9 after this weekend and will next be in action at the NSIC Baseball Tournament this coming weekend.