ST. PAUL, Minn. (Bob Barnes Field) - Bemidji State baseball opened Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play at Concordia-St. Paul, dropping 6-4 and 14-5 decisions to the Golden Bears.
BSU scored first in both games, plating a single run in the top of the first inning in both ends of the double-header, but were unable to hold on.
In Game 1, that single first-inning run came courtesy of John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) who drove home Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) with a single to center field. Grindeland had doubled with one out.
But Concordia responded with two runs in the home half of the first and would lead for good. Chris Duda tripled with one out and later socred on a fielder’s choice, and Erik Quarberg scored on a bases-loaded walk after reaching when hit by a pitch to give the Bears a 2-1 lead they’d not relinquish.
Bobby Meier scored on a fielder’s choice in the third to put the hosts up 3-1, and after BSU plated two unearned runs in the third to tie the score put the game out of reach when Quarberg drilled a three-run home run in the home half of the fourth.
Michael Nordyke (Ukiah, Calif.) reached on an error and scored in the fifth to pull BSU within two, 6-4, but would be unable to draw closer.
Eddie Johnson (Bemidji, Minn.) threw a strong game for BSU, but got little help from his defense. He held Concordia-St. Paul to just four hits in a six-inning complete game, but walked five and saw two miscues by his defense lead to four unearned runs. He allowed six runs (two earned) and struck out five, falling to 0-5 on the year.
Jacob Campion threw a complete game for the Golden Bears, holding BSU to six hits in seven innings. He allowed four runs, but thanks to a pair of errors only one was earned. He struck out one and walked none to pick up his first win of the year.
As in Game 1, BSU plated a first-inning run as Tony Klaers (Elk River, Minn.) drove in Middendorf, who reached on an error with one out. But Concordia would again rally in the bottom of the second, this time plating four runs to put the game out of reach early.
Jon Schemmel led off the game with a solo home run for Concordia, and each of the first four Golden Bear hitters in the inning reached and scored.
BSU clawed back within 4-3, as Klaers again drove home Middendorf with a single in the third, and catcher Matt Asche (Durango, Iowa) hit a two-run home run in the fourth.
But Concordia scored three in the home half of the fourth and then blew the game open with a six-run fifth to bury the visitors.
Schemmel finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored, pacing five Golden Bears with more than one hit in the game. Designated hitter Bobby Meier finished 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored. Meier had an RBI single and scored in the first; hit a two-run double in the fourth and ripped a two-run home run to put the icing on Concordia’s six-run fifth.
Chad Schwegel (St. Cloud, Minn.) started for BSU but lasted just four innings. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts and three walks. He suffered the loss and fell to 0-3 on the year. BSU used three pitchers in relief of Schwegel.
Lefty Eric Utoft picked up the win for Concordia. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. He walked two. Brian Bach threw the final two and two-thirds innings in relief for the Bears, holding BSU scoreless on just two hits.
The sweep drops Bemidji State’s record to 0-17 to open the 2005 season, and leaves the Beavers 0-2 in NSIC play. The sweep extends BSU’s overall losing streak to 18 games dating back to its 2004 season finale. Concordia-St. Paul improves to 12-3 on the year, 3-1 in NSIC play. The teams wrap up their four-game NSIC series with a double-header tomorrow; first pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Central time.