Beavers split two-game set with Washburn University
Friday, February 20, 2009
TOPEKA, Kan. (Falley Field) -- The Bemidji State baseball team picked up its first win over Washburn University in 24 years, splitting a double-header with the Ichabods today in Topeka, Kan. WU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 1 and held on for a 3-2 victory for its first win of the 2009 season. In Game 2 the Beavers scored six runs in the fourth and fifth innings and held on for the 7-4 victory snapping a eight game losing streak dating back to March 31, 1984 to WU.

Washburn University hurler Andre Miller held the Beavers in check in Game 1 holding BSU scoreless through the first five innings as the Ichabods built a 3-0 advantage they’d not relinquish.

Cameron Kasel singled up the middle and then scored on a Dan Simouneau double to left field to get the Ichabods on the board in the bottom of the second, and Simouneau answered again in the fourth with a RBI triple and then scored off a sacrifice fly by Cal Iverson to give WU a 3-0 lead.

Bemidji State broke up Miller’s shutout in the sixth with a two out rally. Josh Juntunen (Sr., 1B/LHP, Elk River, Minn.) started the rally reaching base when he was hit by a pitch. Justin Huether (Sr., OF, Brainerd, Minn.) doubled to center field scoring Juntunen from first. Nick Jelacie (So., C/OF, Brainerd, Minn.) then singled up the middle scoring Huether from second bringing the Beavers to 3-2 but that is as close as the Beavers would get.

Both teams had strong performances from their starting pitchers. Miller went the distance for the Ichabods and allowed eight hits with four strikeouts. He allowed two runs (two earned) and didn’t walk a single batter, improving to 1-0 on the year.

He out-duelled BSU’s Kevin Morel (Sr., RHP, Shoreview, Minn.) who worked four innings and allowed three runs (three earned) on six hits but took the loss falling to 0-1. He walked just two batters in the contest.

Huether and Ryan Johnson (So., OF, Bemidji, Minn.) each picked up two hits in the contest, accounting for four of BSU’s eight hits. Colton Smith (Fr., 3B, Waddell, Ariz.) ran his hitting streak to five games and 10 games dating back to the end of last season.

Bemidji State scored six runs in the fourth and fifth innings cruising to a 7-4 victory, snapping a eight game losing streak to Washburn University dating back to March 31, 1984. The Beavers got on the board first in Game 2 with a two out rally. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Jelacie. Juntunen and Huether give BSU a 1-0 lead after a half inning of play.

Washburn eventually got on the board in the bottom of the third as the Ichabods platted three runs on three hits. Wes Joy reached on a fielding error and then scored on a RBI double by Brian Gorges to tie the game at 1-1. Gorges stole third and then scored on a wild pitch to put WU up 2-1. Dan Simoneau helped WU add to its one run lead as he singled up the middle and then stole second and third before scoring on a double off the bat of Luis Lopez giving the Ichabods a 3-1 lead.

WU’s lead didn’t last long as the Beavers plated four runs in the top of the fourth pushing their lead to 5-3. P.J. McIntee (Sr., 2B, Randolph, Minn.) drove in his team-leading eighth RBI with a double to right field and then scored off a RBI single by Johnson. Smith and Juntunen also had RBI singles in the inning as the Beavers took advantage of two fielding miscues by the Ichabods.

The Beavers pushed its lead to 7-3 in the fifth as they loaded the bases and then pushed its lone run across in the inning when Smith was hit by a pitch allowing Josh Silvernagel (Jr., INF, Bismarck, N.D.) to walk in from third. Washburn platted one run in the fifth but that was all the scoring for eight team as BSU earned the split with a 7-4 win.

A trio of pitchers led the Beavers on the mound. Ethan Branum (Fr., LHP, Brainerd, Minn.) worked 3.1 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with two walks. Randy Amos (Sr., RHP, Wilmington, N.C.) worked 1.1 innings of relief giving up one run (one earned) off two hits picking up his first win of his career. Ryan Bohannan (Sr., OF/RHP, Goodyear, Ariz.) shut down the Ichabods in 2.1 innings of work allowing just two hits with six strikeouts and two walks for his second save of the season.

Bre Sorensen fell to 0-1 on the season for WU giving up five runs (three earned) off seven hits in 3.1 innings of work. J.P. Verhulst and Daren Parker made relief appearances allowing two runs (two earned) off three Beaver hits.

Jelacie and Juntunen each had two hits for the Beavers as Smith drove in two runs extending his hitting streak to six games and 11 dating back to May 3, 2008 of last season.

BSU moved its record to 4-2 overall with the split for its best start since 2002 when BSU began the season 4-2 through six games. Washburn moved to 1-3 to start the 2009 season. The Beavers are back in action tomorrow afternoon when BSU and WU play a nine inning contest starting at 1:30 p.m. in Topeka, Kan.

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