Beavers split opening conference series with Minnesota, Crookston
Thursday, March 20, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (H.H.H Metrodome) -- The Bemidji State University baseball team split its opening Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) series with the Minnesota, Crookston Golden Eagles on Thursday evening from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. The Beavers scored six unanswered runs in Game 1 to earn a 7-1 victory while the Golden Eagles scored 11 runs in the first two innings of Game 2 and were able to hold on for 18-16 win.

The Beavers lit the score board first in Game 1 as Brian Simon (Sr., Owatonna, Minn.) led the second inning off with a double to left center field. Shaun Corbett (Sr., Mora, Minn.) followed with a RBI single up the middle to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead. Tony Samuelson (Sr., Pine City, Minn.) lined a double into left center field to bring Corbett in from second to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead at the end of two innings of play.

BSU added to its lead in the third inning scoring three runs off three hits. Rich Bohannan (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.) started the inning off with a walk and advanced on Justin Huether’s (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.) second hit of the game. Simon would drive Bohannan in for his second hit of the game to push the Beaver lead to 3-0. Corbett drove in his second RBI of the game off a double to left center field with Huether scoring off a sacrifice fly by Samuelson to give the Beavers a 5-0 lead through three innings of play.

The Beavers would add a run in the fourth and sixth innings. Anthony Turk (Sr., Little Falls, Minn.) scored in the fourth inning off a Golden Eagle error with Bohannan picking up an RBI double in the sixth inning to round out the Beavers scoring. Minnesota, Crookston broke up the shutout in the sixth inning when Tyler Reiner would ground out to the shortstop driving in Paul Krebs from third for the Golden Eagles lone run of the game.

Matt Fossen (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) picked up his first win of the season for the Beavers improving his record to 1-1 on the season. Fossen pitched six innings giving up one run (one earned) on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Huether pitched the seventh inning for the Beavers allowing no runs with one strikeout and one walk.

Nick Wright went five innings for the Golden Eagles allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks while Nate Stark made the lone relief appearance giving up one run (one earned) off two hits in one inning of work. Wright took the loss for the Golden Eagles seeing his record drop to 1-1 on the season.

Three Beavers garnered two hits apiece. Huether went 2-for-4 with one run scored, Simon went 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored while Corbett was 2-for-2 with two RBI and one run scored to lead the Beavers offensively.

Game 2 saw the Golden Eagles jump out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning and then have to scored seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to earn a 18-16 win. Bemidji State starting pitcher Justin Brooks (Fr., Thief River Falls, Minn.) had a rough start in his first collegiate start of his career. Brooks was able to get two outs before any real damage was done but a Shawn Motl two RBI triple started the two out rally for UMC. Reiner followed Motl with a RBI single to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead. The Golden Eagles then proceeded to load the bases and back-to-back batters would get hit by a pitch to drive in the next two runs to give UMC a 5-0 lead and end the day for Brooks as the Beavers would make a pitching change bring in Huether for relief. The very first batter he faced singled to center field to drive in the Golden Eagles sixth and seventh runs of the inning. When the damage was done UMC had scored seven runs on four hits.

BSU answered UMC with five runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Turk reached on a error and then scored on a triple to right center field by Bohannan. Huether muscled one far enough out to center field for a sacrifice fly RBI to score Bohannan from third to bring the Beavers within 7-2. Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif.) started things back up for the Beavers as he tripled to right field. Simon drove Stoloski in on a RBI single to center field. Freshman Ryan Sander (St. James, Minn.) drove in the Beavers final two runs of the inning as he picked up a two RBI single to right field on his first collegiate at bat. At the end of one inning UMC held on to a two run lead, 7-5.

Minnesota, Crookston pushed its lead back to six in the second as the Golden Eagles platted four more runs. Motle double and then scored off a Gregor single to left field. UMC loaded the bases with two outs and David Lovely would deliver the blow as he cleared the bases with a three RBI triple to right center field to give UMC a 11-5 lead.

BSU chipped into the UMC lead scoring one run in the second inning as Simon picked up a sacrifice fly RBI scoring Bohannan from third to bring the Beavers to within five at 11-6 at the end of two innings of play. Huether and the Beavers sent the Golden Eagles down 1-2-3 in the third and BSU was back at the plate chipping away at the Golden Eagles lead.

The Beavers did their own two out scoring in the bottom of the third inning as Huether knocked in two runs on a single to center field to bring BSU two within three at 11-8 after three innings of play. BSU held UMC scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings which allowed BSU to continue its comeback attempt.
In the bottom of the fifth BSU scored eight runs on six hits to take a 16-11 lead, its first lead of the game. Stoloski garnered a two RBI single to center field, Simon knocked in the tying run on a fielder’s choice, Chad Doocy (Jr., Grand Meadow, Minn.) platted two runs on a double down the right field line to give BSU a 13-11 lead, his first two RBI’s wearing the green and white. Turk knocked in the final three runs for the Beavers in the inning as he hit a bases clearing double to left field to give the Beavers a 16-11 lead after five innings of play.

The Golden Eagles never gave up as they regained the lead for good in the top of the sixth inning. Krebs led the inning off with a single to center field and then scored on Matt Morin’s two run homer to left field to bring UMC to within 16-13. The Golden Eagles Motl and Beau Mertens then hit back-to-back doubles to close the gap to 2 runs, 16-14 with no one out. UMC then scored its final four runs with two outs to take a 18-16 lead. UMC scored seven runs on eight hits to regain the lead for good in the sixth inning.

BSU was held scoreless in it final two at bats and UMC would hold on to the 18-16 win, its first win over BSU since May 4, 2001 when UMC upended BSU 5-3.

Huether took the loss for the Beavers pitching five innings allowing 11 runs (10 earned) off 15 hits with five strikeouts seeing his record fall to 0-2 on the season. Jeremy Monson (Fr., Pierz, Minn.) went 1.1 innings allowing just one hit with two strikeouts while starting pitcher Brooks went just 0.2 innings allowing seven runs (seven earned) on three hits with three walks and one strikeouts.

Jordan Triestram allowed eight runs (five earned) on ten hits with three walks and one strikeout in three innings of work. Lincoln Messner and Alex Gregor each made relief appearances. Messner went 1.1 innings allowing seven runs (four earned) off five hits with two strikeouts while Gregor picked up his first win of the season pitching 2.2 innings allowing one run (none earned) off two hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Offensively, the Beavers were led by Stoloski who was 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Six other Beavers recorded two hits in the loss.

The Beavers are now 27-5 all-time versus the Golden Eagles and are 16-34 all-time in conference openers and 5-11 in NSIC openers.

Bemidji State (3-9 / 1-1 NSIC) and Minnesota, Crookston (3-3 / 1-1 NSIC) will wrap up its four game series on Friday night with a double-header at the H.H.H Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. First pitch of the double-header is slated for 10:00 p.m.

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