Bemidji State splits NSIC twinbill with Upper Iowa
Friday, April 10, 2009
FAYETTE, Iowa (Robertson Woods Field) -- Upper Iowa University used at least one RBI from six different players to pick up a 9-0 victory over Bemidji State in Game 1 of a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) double-header, but the Beavers built a 5-0 lead through four innings and then held on to capture Game 2, 5-3, and garner a split.

The Peacocks opened Game 1 by scoring two runs on the benefit of three hits. Three of the first four Peacock batters reached base off singles with Tom Longoni picking up the lone RBI of the inning. Longoni would come into score UIU’s second run of the game off a throwing error by BSU shortstop Josh Silvernagel (Jr., Bismarck, N.D.) giving UIU a 2-0.

Upper Iowa added a run in both the second and fourth innings to take a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth. The Peacocks would blow the game open in the fifth as they platted four runs pushing their lead to 8-0. The inning was highlighted by a two-run homer by T.J. Johnson. Erik Sorensen and Albirght drove in the other two runs in the inning for UIU, helping the Peacocks stretch its lead to 8-0.

Brock Spangenberg led the seventh inning off with a homer to left field extending UIU’s lead to 9-0, which was more than enough for UIU pitcher Brian Solemsaas who pitched a complete game shutout evening his record at 3-3. Solemsaas surrendered just five hits with seven strikeouts on 81 pitches.

Brent Vollbrecht (Sr., RHP, Morristown, Minn.) took the loss for BSU seeing his record fall to 2-4 on the season. Vollbrecht worked 4.2 innings allowing seven runs (one earned) off eight hits with three strikeouts. Bryan Buhr (Sr., RHP, Frazee, Minn.) worked just 1/3 of an inning giving up one run (zero earned) while Ryan Gebur (Fr., RHP, New Prague, Minn.) saw his first action of his career pitching two innings allowing one run (one earned) off one hit.

Ryan Bohannan (Sr., OF/RHP, Goodyear, Ariz.) and Josh Juntunen (Sr., 1B/LHP, Elk River, Minn.) both went 2-for-3 in the game to lead BSU offensively.

Bemidji State grabbed a 5-0 lead after four innings in Game 2, then fought off a furious Upper Iowa rally which saw the Peacocks score a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to close the gap to two runs.

Paul Newman (Sr., 1B, Durhamville, N.Y.) led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and then advanced to second off a Bohannan single. Both runners were pushed up a base off a sacrifice bunt by Alex Messick (So., C, Lakeville, Minn.). P.J. McIntee (Sr., 2B, Randolph, Minn.) and Silvernagel both picked up RBI’s in the inning to give BSU a 2-0 lead after two innings of play.

In the fourth BSU took advantage of two UIU errors to score three runs off two hits to extend its lead to 5-0. Bohannan delivered a RBI single to score Newman who reached second off a error by UIU third baseman Brad Hasenkamp. BSU went ahead 4-0 off Silvernagel’s second RBI of the game and then McIntee came around to put BSU up 5-0 when Colton Smith (So., 3B/RHP, Waddell, Ariz.) reached on a error.

The Peacocks chewed into the lead with a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Longoni gathered a RBI single to right field in the fifth, Ronnie Kurihara delivered a RBI single to right center field in the sixth and Lucas Wilsing had a RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh for UIU’s three runs.

Ryan Sander (So., RHP/INF, St. James, Minn.) picked up his first win of his career (1-3) as he pitched 5.2 innings giving up two runs (two earned) off eight hits with two strikeouts. Randy Amos (Sr., RHP, Wilmington, N.C.) and Justin Huether (Sr., RHP/OF, Brainerd, Minn.) came out of the bullpen to preserve the lead for BSU. Amos worked just 1/3 of an inning while Huether gave up one run (one earned) off two hits and a strikeout in the seventh for his first save of the season.

Danny Bales saw his record fall to 1-3 as he pitched 6.0 solid innings giving up five runs (two earned) off five hits with seven strikeouts for Upper Iowa.

Bohannan went 2-for-2 from the plate with a RBI while Silvernagel was 1-for-3 with two RBI in the win for the Beavers.

Bemidji State saw its season mark move to 10-23 overall and 3-12 in the NSIC after the split, while Upper Iowa’s season mark moved to 13-16 overall and 7-5 in the NSIC. The Beavers and Peacocks will wrap up their four-game series tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. from Robertson Woods Field in Fayette, Iowa.

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