BSU drops pair of games to SMSU in return to NSIC action
Saturday, April 16, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - Junior Tony Klaers’ (Elk River, Minn.) two-home run effort fell short to Southwest Minnesota State’s Colby Pack, who had three home runs on the day, as the Mustangs swept Bemidji State, 16-9 in game one and 11-3 in game two, during Saturday’s double-header at the BSU Baseball Field. The pair of losses dropped Bemidji State’s record to 2-29 overall and 1-9 in the conference while Southwest Minnesota State (SMSU) improved to 14-11 on the season, 9-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.

BSU took an early lead in game one when Klaers hit one of his two home runs of the double-header, scoring senior Michael Nordyke (Ukiah, Calif.) who reached first on a walk before stealing second.
SMSU would waste no time, tying the score in the top of the second inning when Lex Reinke tripled, plating two Mustangs just before Bemidji State made a defensive stand, throwing out Joey Schugel attempting to steal third, to end the top half of the second.

But the Mustangs would strike again in the third with Pack’s leadoff home run, his first of three on the day. SMSU would tally yet another run in the third to take a two-run advantage. Pack added another leadoff home run in the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead.

Picking up his seventh loss of the season in game one was freshman Eddie Johnson (Bemidji, Minn.) who left the game after 5.2 innings in which he allowed seven runs on just six hits while walking five and striking out four. Johnson would leave one runner on base, down 6-2, when he exited the game before a majority of the damage was done.

Freshman Scott Sand (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) replaced Johnson and pitched just two-thirds of an inning, giving up eight runs on eight hits and a walk.

However, Bemidji State would not give up as they struggled to fight back into the game picking up two runs in the fifth, narrowing the gap to one (5-4) and matching the Mustangs four-run sixth inning on just one hit. In the bottom half of the sixth, SMSU’s pitching staff gave up four walks in the sixth to go along with a wild pitch and a three-run double by Klaers that brought BSU back within one (9-8).

But a seven-run seventh inning by the Mustangs, combined with the superb seventh inning from Mark Bendzick would close the door on BSU.

In game two the Mustangs jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the second and did not allow BSU to narrow the four-run margin behind a complete game from Jason Roepke. In his complete game, Roepke allowed just three runs off of six hits while striking out two.

Pack added yet another solo home run of the day in the third inning of game two. In all the Mustangs hit six home runs in the two games.

In the fourth inning Bemidji State got on the board with a solo home run by Klaers, his second of the day. The other two runs tallied by BSU came in the seventh inning when junior John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) singled to reach first and advanced to second when senior Jared Podraza (Carter Lake, Iowa) was hit by a pitch. Grindeland would advance to third and Podraza to second on a wild pitch by Roepke before sophomore Eric Pilgrim (Park Rapids, Minn.) grounded out, scoring Grindeland from third and moving Podraza up a bag. Podraza would later score the final run of the game for BSU on another wild pitch from Roepke.

Sophomore Chad Schwegel (St. Cloud, Minn.) took the loss for Bemidji State after 5.0 innings of work. Schwegel allowed seven runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. The loss is Schwegel’s fifth of the season.

Bemidji State will be back in action on Sunday when it completes a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference series with Southwest Minnesota State. The Beavers and Mustangs will play their third and fourth games in two days as part of a double-header at the BSU Baseball Field. The first pitch of game one is schedule for noon with game two slated to start 20 minutes after the conclusion of game one.