Bemidji State splits NSIC double-header with Wayne State
Sunday, April 25, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - Bemidji State’s bats found a solution to Wayne State pitching in Game 1 of a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference double-header, pounding out 10 hits and getting a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh to take an 8-7 win. But the Wildcats were back in form for Game 2, as Nathan Gettler hurled a one-hit shutout and beat the Beavers, 4-0, to earn a split in the double-header.

• Tyler Norland’s walk-off hit in bottom of the seventh gives BSU 8-7 win in Game 1
With the score tied 7-7, Tony Klaers led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single, and would advance to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Czech and a wild pitch. Then with two out, Tyler Norland blooped a 2-1 pitch into left field, which dropped just in front of left fielder Brian Disch and allowed Klaers to score and give BSU the 8-7 win.

Wayne State got on the board first, scoring in the top of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Dustin Jones walked to lead off the frame and then stole second base, and would come around from second to score on a wild pitch after the ball got behind BSU catcher Chris Dvorak and he was unable to locate the ball in the backstop.

But the Beavers responded with perhaps their best half-inning of the weekend. After getting just six hits in yesterday’s double-header, BSU pounded out five hits in the home half of the first inning, batting around and plating three runs on Wildcat starter Jon Pitts. The Beavers scored on an RBI double by Shaun Ross and RBI singles by Czech and Andy Bronczyk.

BSU added a run in the second on an RBI double by John Grindeland to score Matt Middendorf, who led off the frame with a walk, to extend its lead to 4-1.

Wayne State jumped back into the game with two runs in the fourth. Aaron Ligocki singled to score Travis Oosthoek, and Jones scored on a wild pitch to pull the Wildcats within 4-3.

But BSU answered with a two-run home run by Jared Podraza in the bottom of the fourth to push its lead back to three runs, 6-3. It was Podraza’s second circuit clout in as many games, after a solo home run accounted for BSU’s only hit in yesterday’s Game 2.

The Wildcats grabbed a 7-6 lead with a four-run fifth. Brian Disch led off the frame by muscling the first pitch he faced over the scoreboard in left-center, and Jones later laced a bases-loaded triple into the left-center field gap to give Wayne State the edge.

BSU tied it up on a solo home run by Bronczyk in the bottom of the fifth, then won it on Norland’s blooper in the seventh.

Stephen Heesen started for BSU and lasted 4.1 innings. He allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits and walked five. He struck out three and earned no decision. Scott Pugliese picked up the win with a stellar effort out of the bullpen. In 2.2 innings of work, he allowed just two hits, walked only one and struck out four. He saw his record improve to 2-5 on the year.

• Gettler throws one-hit shutout in 4-0 Game 2 loss
Wayne State’s Tim Richt homered to right field with one out in the third, giving the Wildcats the only run they would need to support Gettler.

The Wildcats added three insurance runs in the top of the fifth, getting five hits off BSU starter Norland. Disch led off the inning with a long home run to left center field, and after back-to-back doubles Wayne State scored runs on a sac fly by Scott Bidroski and an RBI single by Oosthoek.

BSU got its only hit off of Gettler in the third, when Dvorak doubled off the fence in right field with one out. Gettler, who improved to 3-0 with the one-hit shutout, struck out five, walked two and hit one.

Norland went the distance for the Beavers, pitching his fourth consecutive complete game. As has been the trend this year, Norland received no run support. BSU has scored just four runs in Norland’s last 23 innings pitched, and has now been shut out three times when he starts. In Norland’s nine starts this year, he has received more than two runs of support just three times; in the other six games, BSU has scored a total of five runs and has been shut out three times.

Game 2 was BSU’s 16th consecutive home game, setting a school record for longest home stand in a single season. BSU played 14 consecutive home games in 1965 and 2003.

The split moved Bemidji State to 12-30 overall and 9-13 in the NSIC. The 2004 Beavers become just the third team in school history to lose 30 or more games in a single season. Wayne State improved to 34-15 on the year, 14-7 in the league. BSU is back in action Tuesday, April 27 when it wraps up its 2004 home schedule against Jamestown. First pitch of that non-conference double-header is slated for 2:00 p.m. Central time.