This Week: The Bemidji State University baseball team closes the 2011 season with a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference four-game series against Minnesota State University, Mankato May 7-8 at the BSU Baseball Field. The doubleheader May 7 is slated for a 1 p.m. start, while the twinbill May 8 is set for a 12 p.m. first pitch.
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Play-by-Play - Brian Schultz
Weekend Festivities: The May 7-8 series is alumni weekend, while Sunday will serve as senior day for nine student-athletes.
Conference Games: All conference doubleheaders will play a seven inning game first, followed by a nine inning contest. The nine inning game has a 10-run rule after seven complete innings.
About Bemidji State: The Beavers are 18-25 overall and 12-17 in the NSIC to sit 9th in the league. BSU is coming off a NSIC split at Southwest Minnesota State to end its road season. The Beavers won game one 3-0, but fell 6-5 in 10 innings in game two. Senior right-hander Ryan Sander (St. James, Minn.) hurled his fourth complete game and second complete game shutout of the season in game one, scattering seven hits, posting a career-high 10 strikeouts and issuing zero walks. The Beavers had a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth in game two, but allowed the Mustangs to tie the game 5-5 and eventually take the win in the 10th.
About No. 9 Minnesota State: The Mavericks are 35-8 overall and 27-3 in NSIC play to lead the league and sit ninth in the nation. MSU is on a 23 game winning streak and hold a 13-2 record on the road this season. Junior Patrick Dockendorf owns a .378 batting average, leading the team in runs (45), total bases (83) and homeruns (6), while adding 51 hits, 31 RBI and a .615 slugging percentage. Junior Blake Schwartz was named the conference’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year. He owns a 2.13 ERA with a 9-1 record. In 67.2 innings pitched he has allowed 18 runs (16 earned) on 62 hits, while fanning 62 batters and walking just nine.
Last Action vs MSU: Earlier this season the Mavericks took two nonconference games from the Beavers, winning 10-5 and 5-0 in Wayne, Neb. Head coach Tim Bellew is 4-5 all-time against the Mavericks as the BSU skipper, playing all nine games at a neutral site.
Series Note: The last time Minnesota State (then-Mankato State) played in Bemidji was May 8, 1980 when both teams were members of the Northern Intercollegiate Conference, playing in the NIC Tournament, hosted by BSU. MSU won the game 9-4. Earlier in 1980 the teams played a conference doubleheader in Bemidji with the Mavericks winning by the scores of 15-2 and 10-5.
• The Beavers are 3-2 in extra innings this season with wins against Arizona Christian University (10-8 in 11), Upper Iowa (3-2 in 11) and Minnesota Duluth (2-1 in 11) and losses to Concordia-St. Paul (7-5 in 10) April 9 and Southwest Minnesota State (6-5 in 10) May 3.
• BSU is 5-2 in games decided by one run.
• BSU is 10-4 when scoring at least six runs and are 8-21 when scoring five runs or less. The Beavers are 12-3 when out-hitting the opponent.
• BSU has four losses when holding a lead after four.
• The Beavers have picked-off a league best 16 runners, four of them are victims of sophomore lefty Phil Bray, who is tied for the league lead.
• The Beavers have a .966 fielding percentage, ranking second in the NSIC and No. 39 in the nation (through games 5/1).
• BSU has the least errors in the league this season with 47. The Beavers have gone errorless in 15 games this season.
• The Beavers have allowed 243 runs this season, 71 (29%) have come in the first two innings.
• BSU has a .265 batting average with runners in scoring position and has grounded into 24 double plays, which ranks second in the NSIC.
• The Beavers defeated Upper Iowa 1-0 March 27. The last time BSU won 1-0 was March 2, 2003 at home versus Concordia University, St. Paul.
• BSU opened NSIC play 3-0. The last time they opened 3-0 in NSIC play was in 1993 with a four-game sweep of University of Minnesota-Morris in mid-April.
• The Beavers shut-out Minot State 7-0 March 11, with the 1-0 victory at UIU March 27, the Beavers have earned two shutouts for the first time since 2003 when that team had three.
• Sophomore Phil Bray has a team-leading 49 strikeouts to sit ninth in the league; his 18 Ks looking sits tied for fifth in the NSIC.
• Senior Ryan Sander has walked just six batters in 50.1 innings to rank second in the NSIC.
• He has not allowed a triple this season.
• He has allowed 19 runs this season, which ranks tied for sixth in the league.
• Sophomore Ryan Brezinski and senior Bryan Jamieson own two saves this season to rank tied for seventh in the NSIC.
• Jamieson has finished nine games this season to rank tied for sixth in the league.
• Bray threw a complete game shutout against Minot State March 11. He allowed just three hits and fanned four batters.
• Sander also threw a complete game shutout, winning 1-0 March 27 at Upper Iowa, allowing six hits and striking out seven.
• Senior Nick Jelacie hit four homeruns in three games April 9-12. His six homers are T-3rd in the NSIC.
• Jelacie has been hit by a pitch eight times this season to rank tied for third in the NSIC.
• He not only sacrifices his body, but his bat as well, sitting tied for 9th in the league with three sacrifice flies.
• Senior Colton Smith has 12 doubles to lead the team and sit tied for seventh in the league.
• With 13 stolen bases (13-for-13) Smith ranks tied for fourth in the NSIC.
• Smith has a team-best 15 multi-hit games (five three hit games).
• He is tied for sixth in the NSIC in at bats (161).
• Sophomore Logan Kalis is the only BSU player this season to have four hits in a game, doing so against Valley City State March 13.
• He has two triples this season, tying for eighth in the league.
• Sophomore Lewis Baumann is tied for ninth in the NSIC in sacrifice bunts with five.
• Senior Brian Murphy (vs Minot State March 11), freshman Zach Braun (vs Arizona Christian March 9) and Baumann (at Southwest Minnesota State May 3) are the only Beavers to record four RBI in a game.
NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll: The Beavers were tabbed 11th in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released by league officials Jan. 19. The Beavers received 55 votes after closing the 2010 season with a 16-37 overall and 7-25 NSIC record, finishing 11th in the final league standings. Seniors Colton Smith (3B/OF, Waddell, Ariz.) and Ryan Sander (RHP/1B, St. James, Minn.) were tabbed Bemidji State’s Players to Watch.