Bemidji State vs St. Cloud State and Minn.-Crookston
Monday, April 12, 2004

Bemidji State vs St. Cloud State: Quick Facts
OPPONENT: St. Cloud State Huskies (
DATES: April 14, 2004 (1:30 p.m.)
LOCATION: BSU Baseball Field; Bemidji, Minn.
SERIES: 109 games since 1958; Bemidji State trails, 24-85

Bemidji State vs Minn.-Crookston: Quick Facts
OPPONENT: Minn.-Crookston Golden Eagles (
DATES: April 17-18, 2004 (1:30 p.m. / noon)
LOCATION: BSU Baseball Field; Bemidji, Minn.
SERIES: 14 games since 1995; Bemidji State leads, 10-4

Bemidji State Wraps Up Non-Conference Series With St. Cloud State
Bemidji State (6-24 / 4-8 NSIC) continues a scheduled 20-game homestand April 14 when it wraps up a four-game non-conference series against the St. Cloud State Huskies. BSU played a double-header at St. Cloud State, April 3, and the Huskies make the return trip to Bemidji on Wednesday. BSU split the road portion of the four-game set, dropping a 4-1 contest in Game 1 and rallying for a 7-4 victory - BSU’s first of the season - in Game 2. The 4-1 Game 1 loss gave BSU a school record-tying 20-game losing streak dating back to the 2003 season finale.

The St. Cloud State Series
Bemidji State and St. Cloud State have met on the baseball diamond 109 times since 1958, with the Huskies holding an 85-24 edge in the series. However, Bemidji State has held the recent edge in the series, winning seven of the last 10 meetings dating back to April 26, 2000.

Only four of the last 10 meetings in the series have been played in St. Cloud, but BSU has posted a 3-1 record in those four road games. BSU’s only home losses to St. Cloud State were by a 7-6 count in 2000 and in a 25-5 blowout in 2002.
Longest winning streak: 2, four times
Longest losing streak: 12, 4/8/85 - 4/4/88

The Minn.-Crookston Series
Bemidji State and Minn.-Crookston are relative newcomers when it comes to baseball rivalries, having met just 14 times since the Golden Eagles elevated their athletics program to the NCAA Division II level in 1995. BSU holds a commanding edge in the series, leading 10-4, and has posted a 7-3 record against the Eagles in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games.

BSU has won each of the last five games in the series and seven of the last eight, with only two wins by a single run. The Golden Eagles have managed 10 runs against BSU just once, in a 15-8 win on March 30, 1999, while BSU has scored 10 or more runs six times in 14 all-time meetings with Crookston.
Longest winning streak: 5, 5/4/01 - present
Longest losing streak: 2, 3/30/99 - 3/30/99
Most runs scored: 16 (W, 16-2), 4/10/02
Most runs against: 15 (L, 8-15); 3/30/99

2004 Weather Scoreboard
Games cancelled: 2
Games rescheduled: 6
Games relocated: 4
Games added: 2

Head Coach Chris Brown
Chris Brown (Jamestown (N.D.) College 2000) is in his second season as head coach at Bemidji State and fourth with the program after an assitant coaching stint under BSU baseball icon Jim Grimm. Brown helped lead BSU to a 15-27 record in his debut campaign in 2003, including an 11-11 finish against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition. Brown’s 11 league wins were second-most ever by a rookie head coach at BSU trailing only a 13-8 league mark in Doug Smith’s 1988 debut. Brown’s 15 overall wins were also second-most ever by a BSU rookie head coach and were second-most by any BSU team since 1997.

Brown has a career record of 21-51 (.292) in his second season as a collegiate head coach.
Brown is assisted by Mike Benke, Rick Looker and Dan Persons. Benke (2001) and Looker (1996) are both BSU alumni, while Persons is a 2002 grad of Nebraska-Omaha.

Beavers 6-5 in Last 11 After 0-19 Start
Bemidji State has won six of its last 11 starts, a game over .500 in that span, after an 0-19 start to the 2004 season.

Since picking up its first win of the season in Game 2 of a double-header at St. Cloud State on March 31, BSU has picked up six wins in 11 starts. BSU has two one-run wins during its recent success streak, a 14-13 win at Concordia-St. Paul on April 4 and a 3-2 win over Winona State on April 8. BSU has won back-to-back games three times, but has yet to put together a three-game winning streak this season.

One-Run Games Hurting BSU
Despite a record which might indicate otherwise, BSU has played its opposition tough much of the season and has been involved in 12 game decided by two runs or less. However, the Beavers have been unable to put away those close games, going just 3-9 in those contests including a 2-8 record in one-run games.
BSU played three one-run games in its four-game series with Winona State, April 8-9, but won only one. BSU won 3-2 in the series opener, April 8, then dropped two one-run decisions in a double-header sweep on April 9.

Looking Back: North Dakota Series
Bemidji State played its 25th and 26th consecutive road games to open the 2004 season, splitting a non-conference double-header at North Dakota. BSU won the opener 8-5, and dropped the nightcap by an identical 8-5 score.

Jon Czech muscled a three-run home run during a five-run first inning in Game 1, helping fuel an 8-5 BSU victory which gave the Beavers back-to-back wins for just the second time this season. Russell Berner pitched 6.2 strong innings for BSU, retiring nine consecutive batters at one stretch.

BSU gave up seven runs in the fifth inning in Game 2, and despite several attempted rallies could not cut into the early deficit and fell 8-5. Jared Podraza went 3-for-3 and Jon Czech went 2-for-4.

Looking Back: Winona State Series
Bemidji State opened a scheduled 20-game homestand with the Winona State Warriors, splitting a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference series two games apiece. BSU swept the first-day double-header, 3-2 and 8-5, but dropped the Game 2 double-header, 12-11 and 6-5.

BSU scored the game-winner in Game 1 in the bottom of the sixth, breaking a 2-2 tie on a Tyler Norland sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Matt Simonson. Stephen Heesen pitched perhaps BSU’s best game of the year, holding Winona State to just four hits and allowing just two unearned runs. He struck out five to improve to 2-1 on the year.

The Beavers scored five runs in the fifth inning to blow open Game 2, taking advantage of a Warrior error to plate four unearned runs. BSU ran its lead to 8-3, then squashed a seventh-inning Warrior rally at two runs for an 8-5 win. The sweep gave BSU back-to-back wins over Winona State for just the fourth time in the 152-game series between the foes; BSU has never won three in a row.

The Beavers dropped two one-run games in an April 8 double-header, scoring runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut into the deficit but leaving the tying run at third base in both games.

Pitching Staff Improving
Bemidji State’s pitching staff started the season with horriffic numbers in the team’s first 10 starts - a staff ERA of 14.41 with opponents hitting a sizzling .398. BSU’s first 10 opponents averaged 12.1 hits and 12.6 runs per game, and the Beavers were walking nearly twice as many hitters as they were striking out.

However, over the last 12 games the fortunes of the pitching staff have slowly begun to change. The staff ERA in that span has been 7.31, with that number inflated by a 12-1 loss to South Dakota March 20 and a 23-2 loss to SW Minnesota State March 23, while shaving 92 points off the opposing batting average (to .306). Hits per game are down to 8.4 and runs per game down to 6.25 over the last 12 games. Also, the strikeout-to-walks ratio has gone from 3:5 in the first 10 games to 58:55 over the last 12.

Player Notes
Tony Klaers leads the team with a .363 batting average, 110 points higher than the team average (.253); he is BSU’s only qualifying hitter with an average of above .300... Jared Podraza (.296) and Jon Czech (.295) are closing on .300... Czech is pursuing the school single-season record for home runs; he has a team-high seven, including four in his last six games; he also leads the team with 21 RBI... Tony Klaers has a team-high nine doubles... Matt Middendorf leads the team with 100 at-bats, but has collected just 19 hits (.190); he has the lowest batting average of BSU’s qualifying hitters... Tyler Norland has allowed just 17 earned runs in 35.1 innings pitched and has a 4.33 ERA, but is 0-4 due to lack of run support; BSU has scored five total runs in Norland’s last three starts... Stephen Heesen leads the team with two pitching victories... BSU’s bullpen has saved three of the team’s six victories; Scott Pugliese leads the team with two saves.

Team Notes
Bemidji State has been out-scored 259-128 this season, but BSU has held a 20-17 scoring advantage in the seventh inning - the only inning this season in which it has out-scored its opposition.

Beavers Sport Pair of Two-Sport Crossovers
Nick Noack and non-roster player Adam Daley are expanding their Bemidji State athletics resumes on the baseball diamond this spring. Daley is one of the nation’s leading three-point shooters for BSU’s men’s basketball team, while Noack spent the 2003 season as a redshirt freshman defensive tackle on the football team.

Giving up 20...
Bemidji State has already allowed 20 or more runs three times in 2004, equaling the school single-season record set in 1982 and matched in 1999. BSU dropped 25-0 and 20-4 decisions to Central Oklahoma in its first two games of the season, and lost 23-2 to Southwest Minnesota State in its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opener on March 28.
In 1982, BSU dropped 20-1 and 27-7 decisions to Winona State on March 30, then lost a 21-12 decision to St. Xavier in the NAIA World Series, June 2.
In 1999, BSU dropped a 20-0 decision to Wayne State (4/17/99), lost 20-5 to North Dakota (4/28/99) and lost 27-5 to Winona State (5/1/99). All three of those games were in Bemidji.