Bemidji State sweeps U-Mary, 10-4 and 4-3
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
BISMARCK, N.D. (Municipal Field) -- Bemidji State ran its winning streak to a season-high three games and picked up its fourth win in its last five starts, completing a double-header sweep of the University of Mary Marauders this afternoon. BSU ran out to a 9-1 lead through three innings and held on for a 10-4 victory in Game 1, then held off a late rally by the Marauders in Game 2 to complete the double-header sweep, 4-3.

The Beavers were able to pound out 13 hits and took advantage of six Marauder errors to complete their first twinbill sweep of the Marauders since the series began just one year ago. Last season U-Mary came into the BSU Baseball Field and swept the Beavers by scores of 7-4 and 3-1.

In Game 1 the Beavers took advantage of U-Mary’s fielding errors right away as leadoff batter Justin Huether (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.) reached base on a fielding error by U-Mary third baseman Mitch Peterson. Huether advanced to second on a wild pitch and then moved up to third on a single by Ryan Johnson (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.). Josh Silvernagel (Jr., Bismarck, N.D.) drove in his third RBI of the season on a ground out to the right side of the infield allowing Huether to cross home plate for the games first run.

The Beavers added two more runs in the second on the strength of an RBI triple by Huether and pushed their lead to 9-0 in the third, taking advantage of two more Marauder errors. J.J. Swalbowski (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) doubled, driving in two runs with Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.) picking up an RBI single to highlight the inning. Danny Zielke (Sr., Richfield, Minn.) picked up his first RBI of the season off a walk and then scored off a wild pitch in the inning while Huether recorded his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field to round out the scoring in the third.

Tyler Liffrig broke up the shutout in the bottom half of the third inning with a two out RBI single to get the Marauders on the board. Josh Juntunen (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) capped the scoring for the Beavers in the fourth inning as he hit his third home run of the season to give BSU a 10-1 advantage.

Tyler Liffrig and Andy Leer played long ball to round out the scoring for U-Mary. Liffrig drove in two runs in the fifth inning with his eighth home run of the season while Leer led the seventh inning off with a solo home run, his third for the Marauders. The deficit was just to much for U-Mary to over come as the Beavers held on for a 10-4 win in Game 1.

Juntunen evened his record at 3-3 on the season pitching 6.1 strong innings giving up four runs (four earned) on eight hits with nine strikeouts and just two walks. Huether faced the final two batters of the game picking up one strikeout.

Nate Watson fell to 2-3 on the season pitching just 2.1 innings surrendering nine runs (four earned) off six hits with one strikeout and two walks. Blaze Culliton pitched the final 4.2 innings give up just one run (one earned) off two hits striking out two Beaver batters.

Juntunen and Colton Smith (Fr., Waddell, Ariz.) each went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Beavers offensively.

Game 2 saw a pitcher dual between Bemidji State’s Kevin Morel (Jr., Shoreview, Minn.) and U-Mary’s Michael Feldman. Both pitchers got off to a shaky start as they both gave up runs in the first inning. BSU platted two runs in the top of the first off a two RBI double by Juntunen scoring Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif.) and Silvernagel to put BSU up 2-0.

Liffrig drove in the Marauders lone run in the bottom of the first, driving in Feldman from first base on a two out RBI double. The Beavers tacked on two more runs in the top of the third inning to push their lead to 4-1. Huether led the inning off with a walk and advanced to second when Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.) was hit by a pitch. Silvernagel drove in Huether from second with his RBI single and Bohannan would score from third off Juntunen’s RBI ground out.

U-Mary took advantage of two Beaver fielding mistakes in the bottom of the fourth scoring two runs off two hits and two errors to bring the Marauders to within 4-3. Casey Gray started the rally with a single to left field. Nate Watson reached on a fielders choice with Gray advancing to second on a error by BSU Bohannan. Both runners moved up a base when Jeremy Campbell grounded out to third base. Daniel Eichele provided the big punch for the Marauders as he supplied the two out single allowing Watson and Gray to score to close the Beavers lead to one run.

From the fifth inning on both pitchers were solid as Morel allowed just two Marauder base runners in the final three innings while Feldman allowed just two hits in his final three innings of work. The Beavers held off U-Mary’s late rally and completed the sweep with a 4-3 Game 2 victory.

Both pitchers went the distance as Morel improved his record to 2-2 on the season allowing three runs (one earned) off seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk for his first complete game of the season. Feldman fell to 1-5 on the season allowing four runs (four earned) off five hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

Silvernagel went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI while Juntnen was 1-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the Beavers offensively in Game 2.

With the sweep the Beavers improve to 2-2 all-time versus the Marauders picking up its ninth win of the season. The nine victories ties the number of wins the Beavers had during the 2007 season.

The Beavers are also off to a 7-5 start through their first twelve conference games, which is the best start through twelve games since the 2002 season when BSU was 9-3.

Bemidji State (9-14-1; 7-5 NSIC) will be back in action tomorrow afternoon (Apr. 17) as the Beavers step out of conference action to take on the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in Duluth, Minn. The first game of the double-header is set for a 2 p.m. start from Bulldog Park.

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