Beavers drop 11 inning marathon to Arkansas Tech, 8-6
Sunday, March 8, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Meador Park) -- In the first game ever between the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys and the Bemidji State University Beavers the Wonder Boys scored three runs in the fourth and sixth innings and platted two runs in the top of the 11th inning to earn the 8-6 victory in Bemidji State’s final game of the Heffington Optical Invitational in Springfield, Mo.

Paul Newman (Sr., 1B/DH, Durhamville, N.Y.) and Ryan Johnson (So., OF, Bemidji, Minn.) collected three hits apiece to pace the Beavers at the plate. Newman recorded two doubles and his first career home run with three RBI and two runs scored while Johnson drove in Bemidji State’s first run on his first career triple.

The Beavers struck in the bottom of the second as Newman earned his second double of the season to right center field to lead off the second inning for BSU. Johnson drove Newman in from second with a two out triple to give BSU a 1-0 lead. The triple was Johnson’s first triple of the season and first of his career.

The Wonder Boys erased the BSU advantage and took its first lead in the top of the fourth inning.

After scattering two hits through the first three innings, Bemidji State University pitcher Ryan Sander (So., INF/RHP, St. James, Minn.) found himself in a bit of trouble to start the fourth inning. After a lead off double to right field by Tony Sanchez, Clint Stroud hammered a two run homer over the left field wall giving Arkansas Tech a 2-1 lead. Austin Gwatney added to the Wonder Boy lead with a two out RBI double to left field. Jeremy Houchin, who received a free pass to first base after being hit by Sander, scored on the play giving Arkansas Tech a 3-1 advantage through four innings of play.

The Wonder Boys added three more runs in the top of the sixth extending its lead to five runs, 6-1. With two outs Gwatney drove in his second RBI of the game with a RBI single to center field followed by a two run homer to right center field by Tyler Shaw giving ATU a 6-1 lead after the top of the sixth inning.

The Arkansas Tech University’s pitching staff kept the Beavers offensive attack at bay until the bottom of the ninth when the BSU bats exploded for four runs off five hits to tie the game at 6-6 sending the game into extra innings. Nick Jelacie (So., OF/C, Brainerd, Minn.) got the rally started for BSU as he delivered a one out pinch hit double to right field and then advanced to third off Chism’s second hit of the game.

Colton Smith (So., 3B/RHP, Waddell, Ariz.) loaded the bases with a bunt single and Jelacie came into score when the next batter, Justin Huether (Sr., OF/RHP, Brainerd, Minn.) kept the inning alive reaching on a fielder’s choice bringing the score to 6-3. With two outs Josh Juntunen (Sr., 1B/LHP, Elk River, Minn.) hit a RBI single up the middle and then Newman delivered a two RBI doubled to left field allowing the tying run to come around to score sending the game into BSU’s first extra inning game of the season, 6-6.

In the top of the 11th inning the Wonder Boys regained the lead for good. Tyler Shaw led the inning off with a single up the middle and then came around to score off a Josh Holloway double which proved to be the game winning RBI. Holloway came around to score on a RBI double by Chris Stroud giving Arkansas Tech the 8-6 win in a game that saw a combined 31 hits.

Ryan Sander (So., INF/RHP, St. James, Minn.) got the start for BSU working 5.2 innings giving up six runs (six earned) off nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Matt Fossen (So., RHP, Bemidji, Minn.) worked 4.2 solid innings of relief giving up one run (one earned) off five hits with one strikeout seeing his record fall to 0-1 on the season. Ethan Branum (Fr., LHP, Brainerd, Minn.) gave up just one hit in 0.2 innings pitched.

Blaine Sims kept the Beavers offense at bay for 7.1 innings of work. He gave up eight hits allowing one run (one earned) with one walk and five strikeouts. Jordan Gomez pitched just 0.2 innings surrendering one run (one earned) off two hits while Josh Floriani earned the win in three innings pitched. He gave up four runs (four earned) off six hits.

The Beavers fall to 7-10 overall and 0-1 all-time versus the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys while ATU improve to 11-14 on the season.

Bemidji State will be back in action on Tuesday, Mar. 10 when the Beavers play No. 23 Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. in a nine inning affair. Game time is set for 1 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).