Marauders end Bemidji State’s conference season with sweep
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Marauders end Bemidji State’s conference season with sweep
BISMARK, N.D. -- The Bemidji State University baseball team closed the 2010 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season Wednesday at University of Mary, getting swept 9-8 in 10 innings and 7-4. The Beavers finish with a league record of 7-25.

The long ball was the story of game one, as there were six baseballs driven over the fence. Back-to-back homeruns in the first inning by junior Colon Smith (IF, Waddel, Ari.) and senior Joe Chism (OF, Great Bend, Kan.) gave BSU (16-35, 7-25 NSIC) an early 2-0 lead. The Marauders (17-21, 11-13 NSIC) knotted the game at 2-2 with a two-run shot of their own in the second and then took a 4-2 advantage with another two-run homerun in the sixth. The score remained 4-2 until the top of the ninth.

Down to their last out, the Beavers rattled off six runs to nab an 8-4 lead. The rally started with the hot bat of junior Doug Peterson (OF/RHP, Bemidji, Minn.) who singled to third base. Junior Ryan Sander (1B/RHP, St. James, Minn.) followed with a single to center, advancing Peterson to second. Sophomore Jeff Schaper (1B, Bemidji, Minn.) plated Peterson on a pitch hit single up the middle, setting-up freshman Logan Kalis (OF/RHP, Little Falls, Minn.) for a pinch hit double that scored Sander and tied the game 4-4. With the game ensured to go to the bottom of the ninth, BSU wanted to tack-on a few more runs. Sophomore Brian Ahlers (MIF, Champlin, Minn.) then came in for Schaper to pinch run at third, which proved meaningful as he scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The errand throw also moved Kalis to third. Freshman Chad Hanson (OF, St. Paul, Minn.), who has been a part of the BSU line-up for the past 12 games, drew a walk to make it first and third. Reigning NSIC Pitcher of the Week, junior Dan Bauer (MIF/RHP, Bemidji, Minn.), then stepped to the plate to show his bat and drove the ball over the left center field fence for a three-run shot giving the road squad four insurance runs heading into the bottom of the ninth with the score 8-4. Bauer lit-up U-Mary the week before on the mound at the BSU Baseball Field, fanning 15 batters in the seven inning 7-3 win.

The Marauders weren’t going to just let the Beavers walk in and take a game on their home field, also using two-out magic in the bottom of the ninth to score four runs and tie the game 8-8. Bauer came in to close the deal for BSU in the ninth, as Beaver starter Ryan Anderson (Fr., RHP, Lino Lakes, Minn.) left the game with one out and runners on first and second. Bauer was able to get the second out of the inning on the first batter that flew out to left. But with the memory of Bauer’s dominating performance still fresh in its minds, the heart of the U-Mary line-up was able to find a way past Bauer, as three-spot hitter Andy Leer doubled to clear the bases and clean-up man Tyler Liffrig homered to center to tie the game 8-8 (Liffrig hit two solo homeruns against Bauer in the 7-3 loss April 21). The hits shook Bauer a little bit and he put the next two batters on base with free passes, allowing the game-winning run to scoring position. He was able to dig deep to get the final out on a strikeout, but the damage was done and BSU was heading into extra innings for the second straight day and game.   

Sander drew a two-out walk in the 10th, but that is all the Beavers would threat in the top half of the inning. Freshman left-hander Phil Bray (Chatfield, Minn.) started on the mound for BSU in the 10th and allowed a second and third situation with zero outs and the top of the order due. Bray got a pop-up to third for out number one, then a strikeout on a pinch hitter for out number two, but out number three wouldn’t come as Leer was the hero again and singled to left for the walk-off win.  

Anderson threw a solid 8.1 innings, allowing six earned runs off seven hits with four strikeouts and five walks. Bauer batted 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored. Peterson was 3-for-4 with one run. Hanson and Chism each recorded two hits in the contest and each crossed the plate once, while Chism added an RBI. U-Mary’s Leer and Liffrig went a combined 4-for-9 with five RBI and three runs.

Game two summed-up what the conference season was like for BSU in 2010. The Beavers scored a run in the first to take a 1-0 advantage, which one would think was a good thing, but BSU is 3-14 this season when scoring in the first inning and 8-10 when scoring first. Then, the Beavers allowed two runs in the first, a run in the second and three in the third to be down 6-1 after three innings. Allowing big innings and early runs have deflated BSU all season and it led to its demise in the final NSIC game. The Beavers made it 6-2 in the fourth, scoring a run, but leaving the bases loaded. It was 7-2 after five and then it came down to the final three outs again for BSU. Jelacie hit his team-leading ninth homerun of the season with two outs in the seventh, to make the game 7-4, but the rally just wasn’t meant to be and the Beavers fell by the same score.      

Sophomore Ethan Branum (LHP, Brainerd, Minn.) made his second start of the season on the mound for BSU, throwing three innings, allowing six runs, five earned, off nine hits. Junior right-hander Ryan Gebur (New Prague, Minn.) threw the final three frames, allowing the one earned run on three hits. The six BSU hits in the game were spread out among six players. Jelacie had three total RBI in the game.  
The Beavers close the 2010 campaign with a nonconference trip to Montana State University Billings April 30-May 1 for a four-game set. April 30 doubleheader is slated to begin at 4 p.m.