Bemidji State topples North Dakota, 10-2
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Kraft Memorial Field) - Bemidji State starting pitcher Chad Schwegel (St. Joseph, Minn.) held the North Dakota Fighting Sioux to two runs in a stellar seven-inning outing to lead the Beavers to a 10-2 non-conference victory this afternoon.

Schwegel allowed just two baserunners through four innings, a two-out first-inning double by Troy Wasiloski and a single to lead off the fourth by James Beard, but did not allow a Sioux runner to reach third base until the fifth inning. A one-out RBI single from Jason Fairchild scored Mike Lundeen with one out in the sixth inning to break up the shutout, and Beard scored on a two-out infield single from Wasiloski in the seventh for the only runs Schwegel would allow.

Schwegel scattered 10 hits in his seven-inning gem, striking out six and walking none. He picked up the victory and improved to 2-3, becoming the first BSU pitcher to reach multiple wins this season.

Tony Meech (Menahga, Minn.) pitched the final two innings and held Fighting Sioux to one hit as BSU closed out its first victory since April 18.

While Schwegel was shutting down the North Dakota offense, the Beaver bats assembled two big innings to leave him working in front of a 7-0 lead.

The Beavers plated three runs in the top of the first inning, and were in position to add to the lead as BSU loaded the bases with one out only to see the rally ended by a double play.

Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) was hit by a Lucas Sandman pitch to lead off the contest, opening a run which saw the first five BSU hitters of the contest reach safely. Middendorf would score on a passed ball and BSU would later garner runs from John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) and Casey Allar (Sartell, Minn.) to take a 3-0 lead. The Beavers were in position to build on that lead when P.J. McIntee (Randolph, Minn.) reached on the second North Dakota error of the inning to load the bases with one out, but Mike Wagner (Plymouth, N.H.) hit into a double play to end the threat.

The double play settled Sandman, and he held Bemidji State without a hit until the Beavers put the game away with a four-run sixth inning.

Grindeland opened the pivotal sixth with a double to center and later scored on an RBI groundout by Tony Klaers (Elk River, Minn.), and a two-run home run by Matt Asche (Cedar Falls, Iowa). The Asche home run chased Sandman, who was lifted for Ryan Hendrickson. Hendrickson put the first two batters he faced on base, including Dan Wagner (Hermantown, Minn.) who helped welcome him to the contest with an RBI double to left field to score McIntee and stake the Beavers to a 7-0 advantage.

BSU added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to put the game out of reach. Pesta fired a two-run home run to left field to score Grindeland and give BSU a 9-1 edge, and a sacrifice bunt from Middendorf scored McIntee to put the Beavers ahead 10-2 in the eighth.

Sandman took the loss for the Fighting Sioux. He allowed six runs (six earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings of work with three strikeouts and one walk. The Fighting Sioux used three relievers, as Jason Fuller and Dana Roller followed Hendrickson out of the bullpen. Hendrickson worked one inning and allowed three earned runs on four hits with two walks; Fuller allowed one earned run on one hit in an inning and a third; and Roller recorded the final four outs and allowed one hit and one walk against one strikeout.

Pesta finished 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, three RBI and his team-leading seventh home run of the season. He led a group of four Beaver hitters with multiple hits in the contest, as Grindeland, Asche and Dan Wagner added two hits apiece.

The contest was originally scheduled as a double-header, but was realigned as one nine-inning contest by consent of both head coaches earlier in the day.

Bemidji State improved to 6-29 overall with the victory while North Dakota saw its season mark dip to 10-24. BSU bumped its record against North Dakota this season to 2-1, and has won each of the last two meetings.

BSU is back in action Thursday, April 27 in a non-conference double-header against Minn.-Duluth. The series originally was slated for last week, but was postponed due to anticipated poor weather conditions. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. at the BSU Baseball Field in Bemidji, Minn. The series opens a six-game home stand which will wrap up BSU’s 2006 home schedule.