Bemidji State drops season-opening twinbill at Emporia State
Saturday, March 5, 2005

EMPORIA, Kan. (Trusler Stadium) - Bemidji State baseball opened its 2005 campaign with a pair of losses this afternoon at Emporia State. The Beavers dropped a 20-1 decision to the Hornets in Game 1, then held a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning in Game 2 before falling 9-5.

Emporia State kicked off Game 1 with a six-run first inning and never looked back. A two-RBI triple from John Martin and a two-RBI single from Ramon Grado were the big blows in the first, giving the Hornets a lead they’d not relinquish.

The hosts added a run in the second and two in the third, then blew the game wide open with a 10-run fourth inning. A bases-clearing double from Chris Pembleton was the backbreaker in the deluge, but a balk, two wild pitches, two hit batsmen and three walks by the pitching staff didn’t help BSU’s cause.

BSU’s first two hitters of the game were retired, and with two out John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) was hit by a pitch and Jared Podraza (Carter Lake, Iowa) singled to center to give the Beavers runners at first and second. But first baseman Matt Pesta (Long Prairie, Minn.) struck out to end the rally, and became the first of 10 consecutive Beaver hitters to be retired by Hornet starter Matt Quint.
Quint yielded to Aaron Burris to lead off the fifth inning, and BSU catcher Matt Asche (Durango, Iowa) reached on a single to left to lead off the frame. But he’d remain at first base as Burris retired the next three Beaver hitters in order to end the inning.

Justin Ivey came on to pitch the sixth for the Hornets, and he allowed BSU’s only run of the game. Michael Nordyke (Ukiah, Calif.) led off the frame with a bunt single, then stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout by Eric Pilgrim. Two batters later, Podraza singled Nordyke home for BSU’s only run of the contest.

Three different ESU batters finished with three runs scored in the game, and Grado finished with a team-high three hits out of the nine hole.

Nate Heim started for the Beavers, but lasted just two innings. He yielded to Bryant Salamone to open the third, but not before allowing nine runs (all earned) on eight hits. Salamone fared no better, pitching just one inning but allowing seven earned runs on just three hits with three walks, two hits batsmen and three wild pitches. Josh Langlie pitched the final three innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits.

Podraza finished with two hits to lead the Beavers. Nordyke and Asche had BSU’s only other hits in the contest.

Game 2 got off to a much better start for the Beavers. BSU took advantage of back-to-back walks to lead off the second inning, scoring both runners to grab a 2-0 lead. With two out, Mike Wagner (Campton N.H.) grounded out to third to score Pesta from third base and Nordyke reached on an error by Jeff Cammann which allowed Bryan Martinka (Bemidji, Minn.) to score, unearned, and give BSU a 2-0 edge.

The Hornets scored an unearned run off an error by Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) and a balk, but BSU still held its 2-1 edge heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Emporia State finally got to BSU starter Chuck Erlandson (Moorhead, Minn.) in the home half of the fourth. After getting just two hits in the first three innings, the Hornets led off the fourth with a walk, a hit batsman and an infield single to load the bases for designated hitter Jason Way. He did not leave the bases loaded for long, putting the hosts up 5-2 with a grand slam.

BSU got back within 5-3 on an RBI single from Grindeland to score Nordyke in the fifth, but the Hornets responded with two in the home half of the fifth to take a 7-3 advantage. BSU picked up two in the top of the sixth on and RBI single from Eric Pilgrim (Park Rapids, Minn.) and a sacrifice fly from Grindleand to pull within 7-5, but the hosts plated two in the home half of the sixth for the game’s final 9-5 margin.

Nordyke and Pilgrim had two hits apiece to pace the Beavers in Game 2, and Grindeland finished with a team-high two RBI.

Erlandson took the loss. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits in five innings of work, and struck out five. He had two balks, giving BSU pitchers three balks in the twinbill.

The sweep drops Bemidji State to 0-2 to open the 2005 season, while Emporia State improves to 10-3. The teams wrap up a four-game weekend series with a double-header tomorrow afternoon; first pitch is slated for noon Central time at Trusler Stadium on the Emporia State campus.