Beavers fall in 2010 season finale
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Beavers fall in 2010 season finale

BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bemidji State University baseball team was swept by Montana State University Billings Saturday in its 2010 season finale. The Beavers lost 9-8 and 12-3 in their final contests, playing two nine inning nonconference games.

The Beavers closed their 2010 campaign with a 16-37 overall record. Two seniors ended their tenure with BSU, Josh Silvernagel (MIF/RHP, Bismark, N.D.) and Dan Bennett (C, Hayfield, Minn.).

The doubleheader played out the story of the year for the Beavers, scoring early runs, but allowing big innings, with the pitching staff trying to find some control and their opponent responding after they scored runs.

The first runs by BSU came in the second inning and were all scored with two outs, with the first run coming across the plate on what would have been the final out of the inning, but a wild pitch on strike three by freshman Riley Hirsch (C, Little Falls, Minn.) advanced him to first and Joe Chism (OF, Great Bend, Kan.) to home. Next, back-to-back hits by sophomore Brian Ahlers (MIF, Champlin, Minn.) and freshman Chad Hanson (OF, St. Paul, Minn.) plated freshman freshman Logan Kalis (RHP/OF, Little Falls, Minn.) and Hirsch.

The bottom half of the inning was a big one for MSU Billings as it scored five runs on five hits, as BSU starter freshman lefty Phil Bray (Chatfield, Minn.) was having troubles with his control, walking one, hitting one and allowing a run on a wild pitch. The Beavers erased the two-run deficit in the next inning getting RBI from Kalis and freshman Matt Ellinhuysen (3B, Saint Charles, Minn.).

The Yellowjackets took a 6-5 lead in the fifth, while the Beavers tied it with a run in the top of the seventh. The lead didn’t last long, as MSU put two runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning to own the 8-6 advantage.

Hanson scored in the eighth to get the road team within one at 8-7 after producing a two-out double and scoring on an error hit by junior Dan Bauer (RHP/MIF, Bemidji, Minn.). BSU then tied the game in the top of the ninth, leading off with a bunt single by junior Nick Jelacie (OF, Brainerd, Minn.). He was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kalis and then moved over to third by Ellinhuysen on a groundout to first. A pitch-hit single down the left field line by junior Doug Peterson (RHP/OF, Bemidji, Minn.) plated Jelacie to tie the game 8-8.

Unfortunately for BSU, the Yellowjackets scored with one out in the bottom of the ninth. After a lead-off walk, the MSU baserunner moved to second on a bunt, followed by an error by BSU at short, scoring the winning run from second.

Jalacie went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, marking his third three-hit or better game of the season. Kalis and Hanson both produced two hits, scoring once and driving-in a run. Ellinhuysen had two RBI in the game, his first multi-RBI game of the season. Bray pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on five hits with three walks. Freshman Nick Monson (RHP, West St. Paul, Minn.) pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Junior Bryan Jamieson (RHP, Maplewood, Minn.) had 1.2 innings on the bump, allowing one hit and walking one.

The Beavers scored first in game two, getting a single run in the second. Chism scored after drawing a lead-off walk and then moving around the bases on wild pitches, eventually scoring on the same action. But, again, MSU responded in the bottom half and tallied a run of its own. BSU then put two on the board in the fourth to give Beaver starter Bauer a small lead. Junior Ryan Sander (1B, St. James, Minn.) earned an RBI with the bases loaded, reaching first on a fielder’s choice, while D. Peterson crossed the plate. Sander then stole second and on the throw, Chism scored.

Unfortunately the lead wouldn’t last long. The Yellowjackets scored three in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead and end Bauer’s day. The BSU bullpen has been suspect all season and it was no different in the last game of the season, as the relievers allowed three in the sixth and five in the seventh to hand the contest to MSU 12-3.

Chism and Sander each recorded two hits, while Chism scored twice, Sander posted an RBI. Bauer went five innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits, walking three and hitting two with three strikeouts.

BSU has been solid when limiting its errors, finishing the season 10-6 when not committing an error. In the game two loss, the Beavers posted three errors, closing the year 3-19 when committing two or more errors. BSU’s opponents scored in double figures 19 times in 2010 and won every time. The Beavers were 8-12 when scoring first.

One big thing the Beavers can take away from the 2010 season is the invaluable experience the freshmen and sophomores received. In all aspects of the game, the young team got serious time playing ball, which should translate into a stronger 2011 squad.