Beavers upset No. 2 seed Upper Iowa, 5-2
Thursday, May 8, 2008
WAYNE, Neb. (Pete Chapman Complex) -- Bemidji State used a strong pitching performance from Casey Allar (Jr., Sartell, Minn.) to upset the No. 2 seed Upper Iowa Peacocks, 5-2, in the first round of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) tournament today in Wayne, Neb. The win for the Beavers is just the third win in the NSIC tournament all-time and the first in tournament play since the 1997 season.

After allowing a run in the bottom of the first inning Allar found his comfort zone keeping the Peacock batters off balance through eight solid innings. Allar scattered eight Upper Iowa hits allowing two runs (both earned) with five strikeouts with just two walks to improve his record to 5-2 on the season.

Upper Iowa jumped ahead of the Beavers in the bottom of the first inning 1-0. Nick Fjelland started the rally with a single to right field and then advanced to second when Marcus Thompson drew a walk. Brock Spangenberg singled up the middle allowing Fjelland to score for second to give the Peacocks the one run lead. Upper Iowa loaded the bases with one out but Allar would buckle down and get TJ Johnson to fly out to short right field and then struck out Seth Fox to end the inning.

The Beavers picked up two runs in the top of the second inning to take a 2-1 lead they did not relinquish. Back-to-back doubles by Mike Wagner (Sr., Plymouth, N.H.) and Colton Smith (Fr., Waddell, Ariz.) tied the contest at 1-1. Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.) gave the
Beaver the lead with a one out single to give BSU the one run lead.

Bemidji State added to its lead in the top of the sixth platting two more runs to give the Beavers a three run lead, 4-1. Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif) led the inning off with his eighth home run of the season. Josh Juntunen (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nick Jelacie (Fr., Brainerd, Minn.) drove in his 17th RBI of the season with a big two out single allowing Juntunen to come around to score to give BSU the three run cushion.

J.J. Swalbowski (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) helped BSU push its lead to 5-1 in the seventh inning. Swalboski reached base with a lead off single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.). Swalbowski moved up to third, tagging up on a fly ball to center field off the bat of Justin Huether (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.). Swalbowski would score off a wild pitch to give BSU a four run lead.

The Peacocks pushed a run across in the bottom of the eight to close the Beavers lead to 5-2. Lucas Wilsing picked up the RBI with a single to center field.

Ryan Bohannan replaced Allar on the mound in the ninth shutting down the Peacocks offense allowing just one hit to pick up his fourth save of the season.

Brian Solemsaas took the loss for the Peacocks falling to 6-4 on the season. Solemsaas worked six innings allowing seven hits four runs (four earned) with four strikeouts and one walk. Chris Wlezien pitched in relief working three innings allowing one run (one earned) off two hits.

The win improved BSU’s record to 4-8 all-time in the NSIC tournament and 3-11 all-time versus Upper Iowa.

Bemidji State (16-24-1; 13-13 NSIC) will be in action tomorrow, Friday, May 9, versus the winner of No. 3 Concordia-St. Paul and No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State. Game time is set for 4 p.m. from Pete Chaman Complex in Wayne, Neb.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).