Eleven Beavers to Play Summer Ball
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University head baseball coach Chris Brown announced today that eleven BSU players will participate in high-level competition this summer.

Junior P Russell Berner (Eagan, Minn.), senior C Chris Dvorak (St. Cloud, Minn.), freshman OF Joe Ferguson (Robbins, Calif.), senior P/3B Tyler Norland (Fertile, Minn.), junior OF/P Jared Podraza (Carter Lake, Iowa), and junior C Tim Voigt (Cold Spring, Minn.) will all represent USA Athletes International at the Robur ‘58 Series, a tournament hosted by the city of Apeldoorn, Netherlands in early July.

The Lenoir (N.C.) Oilers of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League bolstered their roster with the recent signing of three Beavers. Sophomore IF John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.), sophomore 3B/C Tony Klaers (Elk River, Minn.), and junior SS Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) will all sport Oilers uniforms in the summer.

Freshman C Brian Weller (Palmer, Alaska) will return for his third season with the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League, while junior 2B Dan Marshall, Jr. (Amherstburg, Ontario) has committed to play for the Melville Millionaires of Canada’s Western Major Baseball League.

“This is a very big step in the right direction for the program,” said Brown, who will serve as head coach for the Netherlands-bound team. “This will get these guys some serious exposure at not only the national level, but the international level as well.”

The trio heading to Lenoir will follow in the footsteps of former Beaver Brad Johnson and senior C/1B Shaun Ross (Bemidji, Minn.). Both played key roles last summer for the Oilers, who finished with an overall record of 32-17. Ross led the Oilers in at-bats (143), runs scored (28), hits (47), doubles (9), triples (3), and runs batted in (35), while fanning six of nine batters faced in his only pitching appearance of the year.

The Beavers kick off their season with a road trip to Oklahoma and Missouri in early March. Their home opener is on April 6 against the University of North Dakota.