Beavers sweep Augustana in double-header action
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome) -- Bemidji State scored six unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings to rally from a 7-2 deficit to stun the Augustana College Vikings, 8-7 in extra innings in Game 1 and then scored six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to spark a 9-7 come-from-behind win in Game 2 for the Beavers first two wins ever over Augustana College.

With the sweep the Beavers pick up their first two wins ever over the Vikings and improve their record to 2-4 all-time with Augustana.

Augustana opened up a 7-0 lead through the first four innings of game one before the Beavers got on the score board. The Vikings got on the board in the first inning when the second batter of the game, Ian Strum homered to left field to give the Vikings the early 1-0 lead. The Vikings pushed its lead to 2-0 in the second inning off a Jeff Green single that scored Nolan Miller.

In the third inning Drew Heithoff got things started as he reached base on a error by Beaver short stop J.J. Swalbowski (Jr. Grand Rapids, Minn.). Strum would follow that up with a double to give the Vikings runners at second and third with no outs. The next batter Jake Strum cleared the bases with a three RBI blast to right field to push the AC lead to 5-0 through three innings of play. In the fourth inning the Vikings added two more runs on a two out rally. Lead off batter JaColby Anderson singled to deep short to get things started for the Vikings. The next two Vikings batters got out but a wild pitch by Kevin Morel (Jr., Shoreview, Minn.) followed by a throwing error by catcher Anthony Stoloski (Sr., Half Moon Bay, Calif.) allowed Strum to reach first on a strike out and advance second on the throwing error which allowed Anderson to score. Pole singled to second to score the second run of the inning to give AC a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.

The Bemidji State bats slowly started to come alive in the fourth inning. With two outs Paul Newman (Jr., Durhamville, N.Y.) singled up the middle to keep the inning alive for the Beavers and the next batter Stoloski sent it over the right field wall for his first home run of the season to bring the Beavers with in 7-2 of the Vikings. Neither team was able to score in the fifth and sixth innings and the Beavers found themselves down by five runs going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Stoloski started the rally for the Beavers with a double to right center field and then scored on a Ryan Bohannan (Jr., Goodyear, Ariz.) single. With two outs and the tying run at the plate, Rich Bohannan provided the game tying hit as he blasted one over the left field fence to knot the game a 7-7. The home run was Bohannan’s first of the season.

The Beavers shut down the Vikings in the eighth inning and came to the plate with a chance to win. Newman started things for the Beavers once again with a single to right field. Stoloski was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Justin Huether (Jr., Brainerd, Minn.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out. The Vikings attempted to intentionally walk Mike Wagner (Jr., Plymouth, N.H.) but the first pitch bounced past the Vikings catcher and allowed Josh Silvernagel (So., Bismarck, N.D.) to score from third for the game winning run.

Brent Vollbrecht (Jr., Morristown, Minn.) pitched three innings allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with one walk. Kevin Morel (Jr., Shoreview, Minn.) and Josh Juntunen (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) pitched in relief. Morel pitched three solid innings allowing two hits, two runs (zero earned) with three strikeouts with Juntunen going two innings allowing just one hit with two strikeouts, picking up his first win of his collegiate career to improve to 1-1 on the season.

Tyler Pierson pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing eight hits, seven runs (seven earned) with seven strikeouts and surrendering three walks. Justin White picked up the loss for the Vikings pitching 2/3 innings of relief allowing one hit and the game winning run.

Stoloski and Rich Bohannan led the Beavers at the plate as Stoloski went 2-for-2, with two RBI’s and two runs scored while Bohannan was 2-for-3 with three RBI’s and one run scored.

The Vikings started the second game just like they did in the first with a home run. Jake Pole got the Vikings on the board in the first inning with a bomb to right field for his second home run of the day. The lead was short lived for the Vikings as the Beavers first four batters of the second inning would reach base. P.J. McIntee (Jr., Randolph, Minn.) picked up a RBI walk followed by a RBI single by Silvernagel to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead. Rich Bohannan picked up his fourth RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to center field that was deep enough to score Smith from third. Juntunen put a charge into one that looked like it had a chance for extra bases but the Vikings center fielder Tom Hill made a highlight reel catch for the third out of the inning which kept the Beavers from platting a couple more runs in the inning and keep the Beaver lead at two runs, 3-1.

Augustana scored five unanswered runs in the second, third and fourth innings to push its lead to 6-3 going into the fifth inning. Tom Hill hit a two RBI double in the second, Ryan Kessinger had a RBI single in the third, while JaColby Anderson had a RBI single and then scored on a wild pitch in the fourth for the Vikings five runs.

Just as it was in the first game the late innings proved to be the Beavers innings as they scored six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to surge ahead of the Vikings for good. Rich Bohannan brought the Beavers to within one run, 6-5, on a two RBI double to right field. Juntunen followed Bohannan’s double with a two RBI double of his own to push the Beaver ahead of the Vikings 7-6 going into the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Justin Huether made a relief appearance in the sixth inning and sent the Vikings down 1-2-3 as he struck two of the three batters out that he faced. Augustana started to fall apart in the seventh inning as they committed two errors that allowed the Beavers to add two more runs to its lead, 9-6, heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Huether remained on the mound and gave up one run off two hits in the seventh inning but was able fend off the late rally attempt by the Vikings and help the Beavers complete the sweep with a 9-7 win in Game 2.

The Beavers cycled through as Casey Allar (Jr., Sartell, Minn.) got his first start on the mound going three inning allowing six hits, four runs (four earned) with three strikeouts. Swalbowski came in and got his first win of the season in two innings of work give up three hits, two runs (two earned) with one walk while Huether picked up the save as he virtually shut down the Vikings in two innings of work surrendering two hits, one run (one earned) with two strikeouts.

Augustana used three pitchers with Justin White pitching the first four innings allowing three runs (three earned) on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Tim Duffy and JaColbey Anderson made relief appearances; Duffy went 1 1/3 innings allowing three runs (three earned) with two walks and two strikeouts while Anderson picked up the loss allowing three hits, three runs (one earned) with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of work.

McIntee led the Beavers at the plate going 2-for-2 with two RBI’s and one run scored with Rich Bohannan recording his second consecutive three RBI game.

Bemidji State improves to 2-2 on the season with the sweep while Augustana falls to 2-5.

BSU will next be in action on Saturday, March 8 as the Beavers open up play versus Madonna University at 3:00 p.m. in the first game of their spring break trip in Chandler, Ariz. The Beavers will play six games in seven days during their stay in Arizona.

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