Bemidji State swept at Wayne State in regular season finale
Sunday, May 4, 2008
WAYNE, Neb. (Pete Chapman Complex) -- The Bemidji State baseball team ended the 2008 regular season this afternoon, dropping a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) double-header to the Wayne State Wildcats by scores of 3-0 and 13-12 in eight innings. The sweep vaulted Wayne State to its fifth straight NSIC regular season title and helped WSC seal up the No. 1 seed in next weekend’s NSIC Tournament in Wayne, Neb.

Game 1 was a pitchers dual between Bemidji State’s Josh Juntunen (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) and the NSIC’s best Nick Schumacher. Juntunen allowed three runs (three earned) allowing just six hits with four strikeouts falling to 5-4 on the season as he suffered the 3-0 loss. Nick Schumacher picked up his 12th win of the season improving to 12-1 as he was just the third pitcher to shut out the Beavers this season. Schumacher scattered four Bemidji State hits while striking out five in the win.

Wayne State did its scoring in the third and fourth innings as the Wildcats pushed one run across in the third and two in the fourth inning. Brian Sulzman led the third inning off with a single to left field and then scored on back-to-back errors by BSU pitcher Juntunen and center fielder Justin Huether (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.) to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats pushed their lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning as Nick Bidroski and Matt Dunn had RBI singles to give Schumacher plenty of cushion cruising to a 3-0 shutout victory.

Wayne State grabbed a 8-1 lead after four innings in Game 2, and then used a four-run eighth to stamp out a BSU rally to sweep the regular season finale with BSU with a 13-12 win in Game 2.

Justin Hemauer led the bottom of the first inning off with a triple and then scored when Joshua Yost grounded out to second base to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The Beavers tied the contest up at 1-1 in the top of the second with senior Brian Simon (Owatonna, Minn.) leading off with a double and then coming around to score on a RBI single off the bat of Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.).

The Wildcats increased their lead to 8-1 with seven unanswered runs in the third and fourth inning. Alex Koch drove in all three runs for the WSC in the third inning with a three run homer to right field to give the Wildcats a 4-1 lead. In the fourth the Wildcats added four more runs off of four hits. Sulzman, Josh Nielson, and Marc Manganaro all had RBIs in the inning to help push WSC’s lead to 8-1.

Both teams added a run in the fifth inning with Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.) picking up the RBI for the Beavers and Sulzman driving in the Wildcats lone run of the inning.

BSU fought back and tied the contest up in their last at bats of the game with seven runs in the top of the seventh inning. Ryan Johnson (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) singled in P.J. McIntee (Jr., Randolph, Minn.) with Shaun Corbett (Sr., Mora, Minn.), Brian Simon (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) and Mike Wagner (Sr., Plymouth, N.H.) reaching base on back-to-back-to-back doubles. Corbett drove in three runs while Simon and Wagner each picked up a RBI with their doubles. McIntee drove in the tying run with a two out single allowing Wagner to score to tie the game up at 8-8.

The Beavers captured its first lead of the game in the top of the eight with Corbett driving in his fourth run in two innings. Simon pushed the Beavers lead to 12-9 with a two run homer to left field for his first home run of the season.

Bemidji State’s Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.) would come in to try and shut down the Wildcats in the eighth inning but struggles to find the plate allowed the Wildcats to push four runs across to win 13-12 in the bottom of the eighth. The Wildcats garnered two hits while earning three walks in the inning with Joe Wendt, Nick Bidroski, Sulzman and Dunn all picking up RBIs in the inning. Dunn hit a sacrifice fly to right field allowing Wendt to tag and score from third to complete the sweep of the Beavers, 13-12.

Both teams used five pitchers in the game. Bohannan picked up the loss for the Beavers falling to 2-3 on the season working just two thirds of an inning allowing four runs (four earned) with one strikeout and four walks. Huether earned the start working 3.2 innings allowing eight runs (eight earned) off seven hits with two walk and one strikeout while Brent Vollbrecht (Jr., Morristown) worked 1.1 innings giving up three hits and one run. Matt Fossen (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) and Randy Amos (Jr., Wilmington, N.C.) each worked an inning in the loss.

Jeff McDonald improve his record to 2-0 on the season for WSC working just one third of an inning.

Simon and Corbett led the Beavers offensively as Simon went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored while Corbett was 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored in the loss.

The Beavers fall to 15-24-1 overall and 13-13 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) while No. 16 Wayne State improves to 38-10 overall and 24-6 in the NSIC. The Beavers fall to 7-30 in the all-time series with the Wildcats.

Eight BSU seniors played its last regular season games in the green and white this afternoon. The eight seniors are Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif.), Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.), Brian Simon (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.), Shaun Corbett (Sr., Mora, Minn.), Tony Samuelson (Pine City, Minn.), Mike Wagner (Sr., Plymouth, N.H.), Dan Zielke (Sr., Richfield, Minn.) and Bryant Salamone (Sr., Rockford, Ill.).

Despite being swept by Wayne State College in the final day of the regular season the Beavers still made the NSIC Tournament for the first time since the 2002 season. The tournament will be held in Wayne, Neb. on May 8-11 with BSU earning the No. 5 seed. BSU will open up play at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 8 against the two seeded Upper Iowa Peacocks.

Other first round match-ups are No. 4 Southwest Minnesota State vs. No. 3 Concordia-St. Paul at 10 a.m. and No. 6 Winona State at No. 1 Wayne State at 1 p.m. on May 8. A full tournament bracket will be released on Monday morning.

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