BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University baseball team (19-18, 13-11 NSIC) travels to Southwest Minnesota State University (21-20, 12-13 NSIC) May 1 for a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader before hosting Minot State University (15-21, 9-13 NSIC) in its regular season finale May 2-3. Thursday’s double dip is slated for a 1 p.m. start and will be played in Sioux Falls, S.D. Friday and Saturday twin bills are set to begin at 1 and 12 p.m., respectfully.
About Bemidji State
• The Beavers escaped with two one-run wins against Minnesota Crookston April 22, by the scores of 5-4 and 3-2. BSU then traveled to battle No. 22 St. Cloud State and fell in the first three games of the series (5-2, 5-1, 8-0) before scoring three runs in the top of the 9th in the series finale to post a 3-2 victory. The win marked the first in 2014 against a nationally-ranked opponent for BSU after going 4-6 in 2013 versus the nation’s best.
• The Beavers are one win shy of reaching 20 for the third consecutive season (first time in program history) and eighth time in the 63 seasons of BSU baseball.
• Sophomore Tyler Nelson was one of the heroes of the win at SCSU, as he went 3-for-5, which included a two-out, top of the 9th RBI double to break a 0-0 tie. He would later score in the inning and serve as the winning run. In six games last week, Nelson posted a .348 batting average with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. The sophomore recorded at least one hit in the first three games of the week to extend his hitting streak to eight, a BSU season-long.
• Junior Drake Huggans contributed to all three of Bemidji State’s victories last week. He recorded two saves and a win, as he posted a 6.23 ERA in four appearances and 4.1 innings pitched. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and zero walks. Huggans improved to 2-0 in a win against UMC, then picked up his seventh save in game two, which established the new BSU record for saves in a season. His eighth save (ranks second in the NSIC and T30th in the nation), came in the win versus St. Cloud State.
• Huggans ranks tied for third in the NSIC in games finished (13) and tied for 12th in appearances (14).
• Three players are batting .300 or better (2.0 AB/ game), guided by Nelson’s .355 average. He leads the team with 31 runs. Nelson ranks eighth in NCAA Division II in the toughest to strikeout category with four strikeouts in 124 at-bats (first in NSIC in strikeouts per game - 0.12).
• Sophomore Joey Hanowski is batting .351, and ranks tied for second in the NSIC in walks with 24. His .464 on-base percentage is eighth-best in the NSIC.
• Senior Zach Braun owns a .343 average and has a team-best 31 RBIs, which stands tied for 19th in the NSIC.
• On the bump, junior Tyler Saeugling owns a 4-4 record and a team-best 3.72 ERA. His 38 strikeouts ranks 19th.
• The Beavers were pegged to finish ninth in the 2014 NSIC Preseason Baseball Coaches’ Poll. Sixth through ninth in the poll were separated by 25 points.
About Southwest Minnesota State
• Southwest Minnesota State (21-20, 12-13 NSIC) snapped a six-game losing streak April 25-26 when it traveled to Crookston, Minn. and swept a four-game series with Minnesota Crookston (8-5, 7-6, 3-0, 10-2).
• The team’s .276 batting average ranks 10th in the league, while its .424 slugging percentage is fifth, thanks to 28 home runs (2nd in NSIC), 16 triples (1st NSIC) and 73 doubles (6th NSIC).
• The Mustangs own a 5.32 ERA to rank ninth in the league.
• The squad has a .953 fielding percentage to rank 12th in the NSIC.
• SMSU has four batters with .300 or better averages (75% of games), guided by Patrick Rients’ .379 average. He has 40 RBIs to guide the team and rank tied for sixth in the NSIC.
Last Time Versus Southwest Minnesota State
• Earlier this season, SMSU took two from BSU while in Arizona during the spring trip. The Beavers suffered 4-2 and 5-0 losses.
• Last season BSU hosted the Mustangs for a twin bill during the final week of league play. The Beavers won game one 10-3 before falling in game two, 6-1.
About Minot State
• The Beavers (15-21, 9-13 NSIC) have won six of their last seven games after splitting doubleheaders with Winona State and Augustana at home, then going on the road to sweep U-Mary (4-2, 8-6, 6-5, 13-4).
• Minot State (10th in the NSIC standings) will host Minnesota Crookston April 30 before visiting BSU.
• The Beavers own a .275 batting average to sit 13th in the NSIC. MISU has scored 4.78 runs per game to sit 11th in the league.
• The Minot State pitching staff has recorded a 6.48 ERA to sit 14th in the NSIC. Its opposing batting average of .323 is 12th.
• The Beavers have posted a .955 fielding percentage.
• Five Beaver batters are hitting .300 or better (3.0 TPA/G), guided by Sean Arbaut’s .330 average.
• On the bump, Austin Zorn owns a team-best 2.68 ERA with a 5-2 record in 14 appearances and 37 innings pitched.
Last Time Versus Minot State
• BSU traveled to Williston, N.D. (moved from Minot, N.D.) last season to battle Minot State in a four-game league series. The Beavers swept the series (12-4, 11-1 (7), 4-3, 21-1 (7) to push their winning streak to eight.
20 Win Seasons
• For the first time in program history, Bemidji State is seeking a 20-win season for the third consecutive year.
• If BSU reaches the mark, it will stand as the eighth team to reach the plateau in 63 seasons.
• The Beaver batters have 4.70 strikeouts per game, which ranks as the third least in the NSIC.
• BSU has drawn 3.35 walks per game to rank fifth in the NSIC. Individually in the NSIC, Hanowski is second (24) and seniors Cole Bjorge (22) and Chad Hanson (18) rank tied for seventh and 20th, respectfully.
• BSU is 11-3 when leading after the third inning, but have been outscored 92-76 in the first three frames this season (35-23 in the first inning).
• The Beavers are 11-1 when leading after the fourth inning (3-14 when trailing).
• BSU is 11-1 in one-run games, 4-1 in extra innings.
• Senior Zach Braun was named NSIC Player of the Week March 10 after he guided BSU to a 3-1 start by batting .538 with nine RBIs, five runs scored and three home runs. He posted 1.231 slugging and .667 on-base percentages.
• Freshman right-hander Ryan Rumpca made three appearances April 2-7 during which the Beavers went 3-0 and was named NSIC Pitcher of the Week April 8 for his efforts. He hurled seven innings where he didn’t allow a run, gave up just one hit and collected a win and a save. He fanned eight batters and issued only one walk.
• Sophomore Tyler Nelson owns a team-best 13 multi-hit games (three Beavers have 10 or more), which includes a team-high five games with three or more hits.
• Braun is the leader in multi-RBI contests with nine (second best on the team has six).
Bemidji State and the NSIC Tournament
• The Beavers are seeking their second consecutive appearance at the NSIC Tournament.
• Last season BSU made a run to the NSIC Tournament Championship game, before falling 3-1 to eventual Division II College World Series participants, Minnesota State.
• If the Beavers were to make the tournament, it would mark the seventh time since the tournament began in 1996: 2013, 2008, 2002, 1998, 1997 and 1996 (inaugural tournament).
• BSU is 7-11 all-time in NSIC Tournament games after going 3-2 last season with two wins against No. 1 seed St. Cloud State and No. 3 seed Winona State. Both losses came to No. 2 seed Minnesota State.
• Head coach Tim Bellew is 4-3 in the NSIC Tournament.
For more information on the Bemidji State baseball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).