Bemidji State splits home opener with Jamestown
Wednesday, April 6, 2005

BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Bemidji State’s Eric Pilgrim laced a single into right center field, scoring Michael Nordyke and breaking a 4-4 draw en route to a 6-4 non-conference baseball victory over Jamestown College. The win was BSU’s first of the season, snapping a school-record 23-game losing streak.

Jamestown scored the game’s first run, as Boya Quichocho led off the game with a double to left center and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

But BSU grabbed a 4-1 lead, scoring twice in the first and twice in the second. Pilgrim drove home Nordyke with a fielder’s choice, and Matt Asche drove in Tony Klaers from third with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. In the second, Mike Wagner scored on a balk and Nordyke scored on an RBI single to left by John Grindeland to give BSU a 4-1 cushion.

But the Jimmies would rally and tie the game at four, taking advantage of five BSU errors - all by Matt Middendorf - to score three unearned runs. Nate Burgard reached on the first of Middendorf’s errors with two out, and after stealing second base came around to score when a second Middendorf miscue allowed Kevin Stork to reach.

Matt Daul led off the fourth for Jamestown by reaching on Middendorf’s third error in as many chances, and after moving to third on a single and a sacrifice fly scored when Chris Anderson reached on yet another error. BSU squashed the rally and got out of the third holding a 4-3 advantage.

The Beavers shifted defenses for the top of the fifth, moving Middendorf from short to right. Quichocho walked to lead off the inning, and Burgard followed with a drive to right center. The ball hit Middendorf in the glove but he was unable to bring it in, committing his fifth error in three innings. It again would cost BSU a run, as Quichocho later scored, unearned, to even the score at 4-4.

But BSU allowed just two baserunners in the sixth and seventh, setting the table for its sixth-inning rally to take the lead for good.

In Game 1, a two-run double by Klaers scored Mike Wagner and Nordyke to help BSU grab a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of the fourth.

But Craig Talbot came on in relief for Jamestown following the Klaers double, and he shut down the BSU bats and retired all seven batters he faced over the next two and a third innings.

Jamestown recaptured the lead with three runs in sixth and iced the game with a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Nate Burgard had a two-out, two-RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Jimmies ahead 6-4 in the sixth, and Jamestown’s nine-hole hitter Kyle Larson fired a two-RBI triple into the right field corner with two out in the seventh.

BSU got runners to first and second with two out in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back singles by Klaers and Grindeland, but Asche reached on a fielder’s choice to erase Grindeland and end the rally.

Scott Sand earned the decision for BSU in both games, both in relief. He allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits in 2.1 innings of work to take the loss in Game 1, and allowed one unearned run on two hits and two walks in two innings of work to win the nightcap. He improved his season record to 1-3. Chad Schwegel pitched a perfect seventh in Game 2 to earn his first save of the year.

The Game 1 loss extended BSU’s losing streak to a school-record 23 games, dating back to the 2004 season finale. BSU’s 0-22 start to the 2005 season was the worst in school history.

The split improved Bemidji State’s record to 1-22, while Jamestown saw its mark move to 16-6-1. Bemidji State is back in action April 9-10 when it plays host to Winona State in a four-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference series. First pitches are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and noon Central time, respectively, at the BSU Baseball Field.