ST. PAUL, Minn. (Bob Barnes Field) - Bemidji State baseball dropped a pair of one-run contests at Concordia St.-Paul, losing 2-1 in Game 1 and dropping an 8-7 decision in the nightcap. The Golden Bears won both games in their final at-bat, winning Game 1 with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning and winning Game 2 with an RBI single by their nine-hole hitter with two out in the bottom of the seventh.
In Game 1, BSU saw just one batter reach in the first two innings - a first-inning walk issued to John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.). The Beavers then saw their first three batters reach base in the third, but all three were erased on the basepaths in an unusual one-two-three inning. Dan Wagner (Campton, N.H.) led off with a single to right but was erased on a Mike Nordyke (Ukiah, Calif.) fielder’s choice; Nordyke stole second and was later erased on a fielder’s choice from Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.), and Middendorf was caught stealing.
The third inning was the first of three consecutive innings BSU would get its leadoff hitter on base, but the Beavers were unable to capitalize on any of the three opportunities. A double-play immediately cleared the bases in the fourth, and the Beavers could get the lead runner no farther than second in the fifth.
Andy Hanson led off the home half of the fifth with a walk for the Golden Bears, and later scored on an RBI single by right fielder James Kramer to put Concordia ahead, 1-0.
BSU pulled even in the sixth. Middendorf drew a walk to lead off the inning and scored on a two-out fielder’s choice off the bat of Tony Klaers (Elk River, Minn.). But after Middendorf’s run, BSU would get just one runner as far as second base the remainder of the contest.
Mike Wagner (Campton, N.H.) reached to lead off the seventh after being hit by a pitch, but was stranded at second base. The Golden Bears got runners to first and second with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but Jon Schemmel filed out to center to end the threat and send the game into extra innings.
Grindeland reached for BSU with two out in the top of the eighth but was stranded at second. Bobby Meier reached on a fielder’s choice with two out in the bottom of the eighth, and he scored the game-winning run on Mason Reinhart’s RBI single.
Chuck Erlandson (Moorhead, Minn.) threw a complete game for BSU and took the hard-luck loss. He threw 7.2 innings and allowed just five hits, giving up two runs (both earned). He struck out four and walked four, falling to 0-4 on the year.
In Game 2, the Golden Bears exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first inning and then held on for an 8-7 victory which was again decided in their final at-bat.
Meier had an RBI single, Andy Hanson rapped a two-RBI single; James Kramer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded; and Galen Wetzell had a two-RBI double in the six-run first inning.
BSU scored three runs in the fourth on just one RBI to pull within 6-3. Klaers and pinch runner Kent Sannes (Fertile, Minn.) both scored on wild pitches, and Matt Asche (Durango, Iowa) scored on an RBI single by Mike Wagner.
Concordia scored an unearned run in the home half of the fourth to pull ahead 7-3, and BSU plated two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings to pull even, 7-7. Eric Pilgrim (Park Rapids, Minn.) had a two-RBI single in the sixth to pull the Beavers within 7-5, and an RBI double from Asche and a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Bryan Martinka (Bemidji, Minn.) drew BSU even in the seventh.
But Hanson led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left for the Golden Bears, and after a wild pitch and a sacrifice groundout scored the game-winning run on Galen Wetzell’s RBI single with two out.
Bryant Salamone (Rockford, Ill.) allowed six earned runs in just one-third of an inning for BSU. Tony Meech (Sebeka, Minn.), Josh Langlie (Thief River Falls, Minn.) and Scott Sand (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) pitched in relief; Sand took the loss.
The two-game sweep extends BSU’s losing streak to 20 games, dating back to the 2004 season finale, a streak which ties the school record for most consecutive losses. BSU dropped 20 consecutive games in 1958-59, and an identical 0-19 start in 2004 gave BSU a 20-game losing streak. BSU is 0-19 for the second consecutive season, matching the 2004 team for the worst start to a season in school history.
The sweep drops Bemidji State’s record to 0-19 to open the 2005 season, and leaves the Beavers 0-4 in NSIC play. Concordia-St. Paul improves to 14-3 on the year, 5-1 in NSIC play. Bemidji State is back in action Monday, April 5 in a two-game non-conference double-header at St. Cloud State. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. Central time.