Bemidji State nine gets first win of season at St. Cloud State
Thursday, April 1, 2004
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (Dick Putz Field) - The Bemidji State baseball team picked up its first victory of the 2004 season and snapped a school record-tying 20-game losing streak dating back to the end of the 2003 season, overpowering the St. Cloud State Huskies 7-4 in Game 2 of a March 31 twinbill. Bemidji State dropped the opener, 4-1.

Bemidji State took advantage of three St. Cloud State errors, converting the miscues into four unearned runs, to pick up its first win of the 2004 season in the nightcap.

Tony Klaers led off the second with a walk and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Tyler Norland to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead.

The Beavers extended that led to 4-0 with a three-run fourth, with all three runs unearned by the Husky pitching staff. Klaers doubled and Isaac Smieja reached after being hit by a pitch to give BSU runners and first and second with two out. Norland reached on an error by shortstop Dan Skog, scoring Klaers, and would later come around to score with Smieja on an error by center fielder Gary Kiess to give the Beavers a 4-0 cushion.

The Huskies got on the board with a run in the second courtesy of an RBI double by catcher Travis Thompson, but BSU would continue to pour it on in the top of the fifth. The Beavers added three more runs in the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1. Jon Czech scored Jared Podraza with an RBI double, and after Dan Wagner reached on an error to extend the inning Czech and Klaers would score to put the game out of reach. Klaers’ run was the fourth unearned run scored by BSU in the game.

St. Cloud attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh, plating three runs on a two-RBI double from Parnell O’Connor and an RBI single by Joe Durham, but Kyle Johnson flied out to center to end the rally and give BSU its first win of the season.

Smieja went 3-for-3 in the win, just the second three-hit game by a Beaver this year.

Josh Langlie started and earned the victory for the Beavers. He went 3.1 innings and allowed just two hits while striking out three. Scott Pugliese pitched three innings in relief and allowed three Husky runs, and Matt Middendorf recorded the final two outs.

St. Cloud State grabbed an early lead in Game 1, scoring Skog in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Nate Swan. The Huskies held that 1-0 lead until the top of the sixth, when Bemidji State pulled even on an RBI single from Norland to score Dan Wagner.

But the Huskies would put the game away on a three-run home run by Joe Durham in the bottom of the sixth. The Beavers attempted a rally in the seventh, loading the bases with two out, but designated hitter Matt Pesta grounded out to third to end the rally.

Bemidji State was unable to take advantage of runners in scoring position throughout the game. BSU had the bases loaded in the fourth and failed to score; saw its leadoff hitter reach third base in the fifth; had a runner thrown out at the plate in the sixth; and left the bases loaded in the seventh.

Bryant Salamone took the loss for BSU, despite allowing just four hits in 5.1 innings of work. He allowed four runs (all earned) and struck out five hitters, but walked five and hit another. Russell Berner recorded the final two outs in relief, striking out one.

The 4-1 loss left Bemidji State with 20 consecutive losses, dating back to last season, tying the school record for longest losing streak set from 1958-59.

The double-header split leaves Bemidji State 1-19 on the season while St. Cloud State moves to 4-14 overall. BSU is scheduled to return to action April 3-4 when it travels to St. Paul, Minn. to tackle the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears. The teams will play a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference series with double-headers starting at 1:30 p.m. on April 3 and noon on April 4.