Bemidji State splits non-conference doubleheader at Montana State-Billings
Saturday, May 2, 2009
BILLINGS, Mont. (Dehler Park) -- Anyone who left the Bemidji State University baseball games at Montana State University-Billings early Saturday missed out. Each game of the doubleheader between the Beavers and Yellowjackets was decided by a late-inning rally.

The Beavers opened the doubleheader with three runs in the first inning of game one, but needed a four-run seventh to put the game away, 9-5. MSU-Billings battled back from a one-run deficit to win game two. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Yellowjackets plated five runs to walk away with a 7-3 victory, while splitting the double-dip.

Things seemed to be rolling for the Beavers from the first pitch. The first three batters of the game reached safely as the Beavers ripped three hits and took advantage of a throwing error to jump out to a three-run lead after a half inning of play. Brent Volbrecht (Sr., Morristown, Minn.), who took the mound in search of his fourth victory of the season, held the Yellowjackets scoreless in the bottom of the inning, despite walking the leadoff batter, stranding two runners.

MSU-Billings battled back in the second loading the bases with one out. Dukart singled up the middle to score two runs. Just two batters later, Schoonover doubled to left field to tie the score at 3-3.

The Yellowjackets took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Skillern reached on an error and scored on a double by Hernandez.

After stringing together three hits in the top of the six to plate a run and knot the game at 4-4, the Beavers saw the hosting Yellowjackets come storming back on the strength of Sobieraj's first home run of the season.

Nick Jelacie (So., Brainerd, Minn.) kept BSU alive blasting his third homer of the season to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh.

In the eighth, BSU exploded for four runs on two hits as the Beavers capitalized on a pair of MSUB errors.

P.J. McIntee got the inning started reaching on an error by the Yellowjacket first baseman and advanced to second base. Josh Silvernagle (Jr., Bismarck, N.D.) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to push McIntee to third. After Colton Smith (So., Waddell, Ariz.) was hit by a pitch, Paul Newman (Sr., Durhamville, N.Y.) doubled to left center clearing the bases and putting BSU up 7-5. Justin Huether (So., Brainerd, Minn.) singled up the middle to score Newman and Ryan Bohannon (Sr., Goodyear, Ariz.) reached on an error that scored Huether.

With a four-run lead, 9-5, Huether slammed the door on the Yellowjackets. In a dominant 2 1/3 inning, performance, the hurler struck out five including sitting down four of the last six batters he faced. For his efforts he was granted the win.

Bemidji State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the nightcap. Jelacie reached on an error, advanced to second on a single by Bohannon and scored when Anthony Turk (Sr., Little Falls, Minn.) found the right field gap.

MSU-Billings put together a pair of hits in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 1-1.

The Beavers bounced back to regain the lead in the top of the third. Bohannon plated his eighth RBI of the season on a ground ball. Later, Huether came home on a sacrifice fly by Turk, stretching the Beavers' lead to 3-1.

MSUB trimmed the BSU lead to one run, 3-2, in the fifth inning, after BSU put the Yellowjackets' leadoff man on by hitting him. That runner would score two batters later on a double to centerfield.

In the sixth, MSUB exploded for five runs on four hits to put the game out of reach for the Beavers. Schoonover was one of four Jacket batters to be credited with an RBI, plating a pair on a single to center field.

Three Beavers pitched in the game. Matt Fossen (So., Bemidji, Minn.) went 4 2/3 and allowed two runs on seven hits. Bryan Jamieson (So., Maplewood, Minn.) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned), giving up three hits in 2/3 of an inning of work.

Bemidji State moves to 16-35 overall, while Montana State-Billings improved to 22-24 on the season. The same two teams will take the field tomorrow at noon to get the Beavers' final two games of the season underway.

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