Bemidji State completes season sweep of Minn.-Crookston
Monday, April 19, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - Bemidji State ran its winning streak to a season-high four games and picked up its fifth win in its last seven starts, completing a four-game series sweep of the Minn.-Crookston Golden Eagles this afternoon. BSU raced out to a 16-5 lead in Game 1 behind a season-high 20 hit assault, then held on for a 16-12 win in Game 1, then rallied from two runs down to take an 8-3 lead in Game 2 and hold on for an 8-5 win to complete the sweep.

Shaun Ross, John Grindeland and Matt Middendorf provided the big bats for BSU, which rolled up 29 hits on the Golden Eagles in the twinbill. Ross went 5-for-7 (.714) on the afternoon with a double and three RBI; Grindeland went 4-for-6 (.667) with a double, four walks, three RBI and four runs scored, and Middendorf went 4-for-8 (.500) at the plate with a double, two RBI and three runs scored.

The trio helped fuel a BSU offense which hit .492 as a unit for the day (29-for-59) with an on-base percentage of .605. The Beavers piled up a season-high 20 hits, the first 20-hit game for BSU in nearly six years. On May 2, 1998, BSU rolled up 21 hits in a 20-4 demolition of Northern State.

• Beavers build huge lead, hold off late rally in 16-12 Game 1 victory
Bemidji State set season highs with 16 runs on 20 hits, and needed each and every one to hold off Crookston, 16-12, in Game 1.

The Golden Eagles grabbed the early lead, picking up two first-inning markers when Danny Scheving scored on a fielding error by second baseman John Grindeland, and Mike Alvestad scored on an RBI single from Aaron Motl.

But from there, the BSU bats took control and dominated the game. The Beavers ripped off 10 unanswered runs over the next three innings, chasing Crookston starter Charlie Hasse after just two-thirds of an inning. BSU plated five runs in the bottom of the first on the strength of a two-RBI single from Ross, an RBI single by Andy Bronczyk and a two-RBI doble by Chris Dvorak.

The Beavers added two in the second on the strength of an RBI double by Tony Klaers and a bases-loaded walk issued to Isaac Smieja, and pushed their lead to 10-2 in the third on a sac fly by Ross, having Klaers hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and a throwing error.

Crookston chipped away in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs on just one base hit. Dominick Hammer scored on a bases-loaded balk; Tyler McFarland scored on an RBI groundout; and Travis Scheving scored on a wild pitch to pull the Golden Eagles within 10-5.

BSU would put up six more unanswered runs - a single run in the fourth on an RBI single by Grindeland and five in a seven-hit fifth inning which at one point saw six consecutive Beaver hitters hit safely and reach base. Four different BSU batters notched RBI hits in the frame, and Bronczyk scored on a wild pitch to help stake BSU to a seemingly-insurmountable 16-5 advantage after five.

But the Eagles would not go quietly. Crookston piled on seven unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings and had the tying run on deck before BSU could squash the rally. Motl muscled a three-run home run over the left-center fence for the big blow in a four-run sixth, and Adam Medlicott and Aaron Challoner had RBI singles to help spark a three-run seventh before Middendorf stopped the bleeding and earned the save.

Bryant Salamone picked up the victory for BSU, improving to 1-4. Middendorf notched the final two outs to record his first save.

• Beavers rally from 3-1 deficit, use seven unanswered runs to take 8-5 win in nightcap.
The Golden Eagles grabbed a 3-1 lead after three innings, scoring two runs in the first when Motl scored on a wild pitch and Tyler McFarland singled home Hammer in the second, and getting an RBI single from Motl in the third.

That lead held into the bottom of the fourth, when BSU tied the score on a two-RBI single off the bat of Klaers. BSU then exploded for five runs in the fifth - its third five-run inning of the day - to help put the game out of reach. BSU picked up four hits in the inning and scored runs on a bases-loaded hit batsman, a sac fly and RBI hits by three different Beaver players.

Crookston attempted a rally with two runs in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on deck before Russell Berner recorded the final two outs and earned his first save of the season.

Chad Schwegel pitched a strong game for BSU. He scattered eight hits and struck out eight batters in 6.1 innings of work and saw his season record improve to 2-3. He allowed five runs (all earned).

The sweep improved Bemidji State to 11-25 overall and evened its NSIC mark at 8-8. BSU has won five of its last six games and has 11 wins in its last 15 games after an 0-19 start. Minn.-Crookston saw its season record fall to 3-27 overall, 1-15 in the NSIC. BSU is back in action Wednesday, April 21, with a two-game NSIC double-header against Minn.-Duluth.