BEMIDJI, Minn. (BSU Baseball Field) - Bemidji State’s baseball team managed seven hits off three Wayne State (Neb.) pitchers and scored one run in a two-game double-header sweep at the hands of the Wildcats this afternoon in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. A fourth-inning home run from John Grindeland (Moorhead, Minn.) accounted for BSU’s lone run in a 4-1 Game 1 loss, and BSU was held to three hits and grounded into four double plays in a 6-0 shutout loss in Game 2.
managed just two baserunners in the first three innings of Game 1 - a
double by Tadhg Baucom (Chicago, Ill.) to lead off the home half of the
first, and Dan Wagner (Hermantown, Minn.) reached on an error by Wayne
State right fielder Marc Manganaro with one out in the third -
but Beaver starting pitcher Bryant Salamone (Rockford, Ill.) got off to a strong start to keep the Beavers in the game.
Salamone matched Wildcat starter Travis Mortimore by allowing just two baserunners in the game’s first three innings - both coming on walks - and did not allow a hit until second baseman Vincente Cafaro led off the fourth with a bunt single to third base. Chris Pedroza would double Cafaro home later in the inning to give Wayne State an early 1-0 lead.
BSU pulled even on Grindeland’s solo home run on the first pitch he saw to lead off the fourth, then put two men on base after drawing back-to-back walks with one out. Matt Middendorf (Sauk Centre, Minn.) grounded into a double play to end the threat, and Wayne State answered with a three-run fifth to put the game away.
Ian DeLaet led off the fifth with a double, and after being sacrificed over to third base came around to score on an RBI single by Dustin Jones. Scott Bidroski would later draw a walk, and Jones and Bidroski scored on a two-out, two-RBI double from first baseman Ben Albury to cap the rally. Manganaro drew a walk after the Albury double, and BSU lifted Salamone for reliever Tony Meech (Menahga, Minn.).
Meech got out of the inning and would hold Wayne State scoreless on two hits in the game’s final two innings, but the Beavers were unable to solve the Wildcat pitching staff. Mortimore pitched through the sixth for the NSIC-leading Wildcats, and held BSU to three hits and three walks against five strikeouts while allowing only Grindeland’s fourth-inning circuit clout. He picked up the victory and improved to 5-1. Adam McGuire pitched the seventh and allowed one hit to earn his sixth save of the year.
Salamone went 4.2 innings for BSU and fell to 1-2 with the loss. He allowed only five hits, but walked five - including two in the pivotal fifth inning. Meech allowed just two hits in 2.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Middendorf went 0-for-3 in Game 1 to snap his personal seven-game hitting streak, and Asche was 0-for-1 with two walks in Game 1 to see his hitting streak come to an end at six games.
In Game 2, the Wildcats scored twice in the top of the first on RBI singles from Bidroski and Manganaro, then rode their defense to the win. Wayne State turned a double play in each of the first three innings, and turned four for the game, as a superb defensive effort helped the Wildcats face just four batters over the minimum in a 6-0 shutout.
BSU saw its leadoff hitter reach base and immediately be erased by a double play in each of the game’s first three innings. The Wildcats pushed their lead to 3-0 with a run in the third, then added two runs in the fourth capped by an infield RBI bunt single from Jones.
The five-run lead was more than enough for Wildcat starter Steve Walsh, who held BSU to three hits - a first-inning single from Baucom, a second-inning single by Matt Asche (Cedar Falls, Iowa) and a third-inning single by Dan Wagner. All three were erased by double plays. He walked three and struck out two, improving to 3-0 on the year. Nathan Gettler was perfect over the final two innings in relief.
Eddie Johnson (Bemidji, Minn.) pitched a complete game for BSU, but took the loss and fell to 0-5. He allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Bemidji State dropped to 4-22 overall after the sweep, 1-7 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play, while Wayne State improved its season mark to 24-8-1 and remained undefeated against the NSIC at 12-0. The sweep helped Wayne State extend its unbeaten streak to 16 consecutive games dating back to an 8-4 loss at Northwest Missouri State on March 17. The teams wrap up a four-game NSIC series tomorrow afternoon with a double-header at the BSU Baseball Field. First pitch is slated for noon Central time.