Norland, Czech ground Golden Eagles on Alumni Day
Saturday, April 17, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State baseball (9-25, 6-8 NSIC) used performances from seniors Jon Czech and Tyler Norland to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader against cellar-dwelling Minnesota-Crookston (3-25, 1-13 NSIC) by scores of 12-6 and 2-0. Czech hit home runs in both games, thrusting BSU’s single-season home run record into serious jeopardy, while Norland tossed a seven-hit shutout in Game 2 to silence the Golden Eagles’ bats.

• Beavers pound 15 hits in 12-6 Game 1 win

The Beavers scored at least one run in every inning during Game 1, including three in both the fifth and sixth innings. Veteran left-hander Scott Pugliese (1-5) earned the win after tossing four shutout relief innings. Pugliese was thrown into a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the top of the fourth inning of a 5-5 game, but enticed Crookston’s Aaron Challoner to ground into a double play, ending the threat with minimal damage.

Shaun Ross, who smacked his fourth tater of the campaign earlier in the game, doubled home Matt Middendorf in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up again. Czech then led off the fifth with his ninth dinger of the season to give the Beavers a lead they would not relinquish. The six runs scored in the final two innings iced the victory.

Andy Bronczyk led the squad with three runs batted in, while Ross and John Grindeland each went 3-for-4 during the game.

The game marked just the fifth time this season that the Beavers have reached double-digits in hits.

• Norland throws seven-hit gem, shutting out Crookston 2-0 in Game 2

Norland (1-4), who never seems to receive any run support when on the mound, had to throw a shutout to squeak by Crookston, earning his first win of the season. The shutout is his second of his career and the first since blanking Southwest State almost exactly a year ago. He scattered seven hits and issued just one free pass over his seven-inning performance.

Bronczyk, wielding a red-hot bat as of late, continued his streak by going 3-for-5 on the day. He scored Game 2’s first, and winning, run in the second inning on a Grindeland single.

Czech accounted for the only other run of the game, lacing a sixth-inning home run into the softball field far beyond the right field fence. Czech has 18 games left on the 2004 schedule, and needs one more home run to tie Jamie Sinning’s single-season school record of 10, set back in 1991.

Even with the sweep of Crookston, the sixth-place Beavers remain three games behind fourth-place Concordia-St. Paul (12-13 / 9-5 NSIC) and half a game behind fifth-place Minnesota-Duluth (12-12 / 6-7 NSIC) in the conference standings. The top four teams at the conclusion of the regular season receive a berth into the conference playoffs.

The four-game series against Crookston concludes Sunday, with a doubleheader slated to begin at the BSU Baseball Field at noon. The Beavers spring right back into action on Monday, with a non-conference doubleheader scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm against the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.