Nelson's two-homer day highlights Friday split at Truman State

March 04, 20161234567RHE
Bemidji State0000000022
Truman State Univ.310030X7100
Win: Roberts (1-1) 6.020015
Loss: Hadden (1-1) 4.297742
Riedel (BSU) 301000
Nelson (BSU) 201000
Gambino (TSU) 423000
March 04, 2016123456789RHE
Bemidji State00324000211171
Truman State Univ.0030000003121
Win: Stigman (1-1) 5.0103122
Loss: Frantz (0-2) 4.085513
Nelson (BSU) 544512
Priest (TSU) 513200
Nelson's two-homer day highlights Friday split at Truman State
Friday, March 4, 2016
Nelson's two-homer day highlights Friday split at Truman State

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (Truman Baseball Field) -- Senior right fielder Tyler Nelson had his sights on extra bases during game two of the Bemidji State University baseball team’s split at Truman State University Friday. Nelson belted two home runs and a triple during an 11-3 win for the Beavers (1-5, 0-0 NSIC) over the Bulldogs (4-5, 0-0 GLVC), but fell during game one, 7-0, at Truman Baseball Field.

Games one and two proved to be complete opposites offensively for the Beavers, as the team totaled just two hits in the opening contest compared to 17 in the second. The eleven runs scored is a season high as BSU grabbed its first win of 2016. Nelson paced Bemidji State during its win, hitting 4-of-5 from the plate with two home runs and a triple. He continues his pace for 25 triples during the season after entering the weekend with two.

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first inning of game one, the only runs needed to secure the win. Truman State recorded a solo home run followed by a two-RBI, two-out single to center field to begin scoring in the bottom of the first. A sacrifice fly in the second inning gave TSU its fourth run of the game while BSU was searching for its first base runner. Shortstop Collin Eckman walked in the third to put the first Beaver on base.

In the following inning, Bemidji State recorded its first and only hits of the day. Center fielder Logan Riedel and Nelson came up with back-to-back singles to open the top of the fourth inning. The duo would eventually reach second and third base, but finished the inning stranded on base.

Truman State’s Mark Roberts pitched through six innings and allowed only two hits, while Tanner Forck closed out the seventh inning to seal the win. Right-hander Terry Hadden (0-2) began the game on the mound for BSU, finishing with 4.2 innings pitched in his second loss of the season. He allowed seven earned runs and nine hits for Bemidji State. Left-hander Nate Heisick threw 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit.

The Beavers struck first in game two with a three-run third inning, thanks in part to two triples and three extra-base hits total. Nelson began the inning with a leadoff triple, his third of the season, to set up the first run of the day for BSU. He was held at third following a single to the catcher by first baseman Mason Bellew, but Riedel was able to drive in the run with a fielder’s choice. Designated hitter Duane Miller hit a double to right field to advance Riedel to third, while left fielder Scott Litchy knocked a triple down the right field line to drive in the two runs. Litchy was kept on third, though, as the next batter grounded out to end the three-run inning for the Beavers.

The third inning scores by Bemidji State was the first of three consecutive half innings that each team put up runs. The Bulldogs answered with a three-run inning in the bottom half of the third to tie the game. Two unearned runs scored following a fielding error to place a batter on base and a passed ball to advance a runner to third. A double scored two runs while a single to left field scored the tying run. The Beavers turned a double play to end the third inning.

Bemidji State added two runs in the fourth to regain the lead. Catcher Gunner Olszewski bunted for a single to leadoff the top half and Nelson walked to put runners on first and second. After a balk advanced the runners to second and third, Bellew slapped a single through the right side to score both runs and take a 5-3 lead in the fourth. Truman State had a chance to score again in the bottom half, but stranded the bases loaded to end the inning.

Nelson added his second extra-base hit of the game to push the BSU lead to 9-3 in the top of the fifth, smacking a three-run home run past the right center field wall. Eckman aided in the six-run lead with a two-RBI single to right center field.

The Beavers flirted with pushing the lead in the sixth and seventh innings, ending the two with a total of five runners stranded on base. Relief pitcher Luke Benge gave no such opportunity to the Bulldogs, retiring the first six batters faced by groundouts. A final scare for Bemidji State came in the bottom of the eighth inning as left-hander Nate Heisick completed a hold with bases loaded to advance BSU to the ninth.

Nelson, looking for a cycle with a double needed in the ninth inning, hit his second home run of the day past left center field to extend the Beavers’ lead to 11-3.

Stigman (1-1) earned his first win of the season after throwing for 5.0 innings with one earned run and two strikeouts. Benge and Heisick completed an effective effort for the Beavers bullpen, allowing just two hits over 4.0 innings.

Nelson finished with a team-high five hits on the day in seven at-bats and totaled three of BSU’s five extra-base hits on the day. Six Beavers in total recorded multiple hits during game two, including Olszewski with three hits in five at-bats.

Bemidji State continues its weekend action traveling to William Jewell College with a doubleheader Saturday and a single-game Sunday. The Beavers and Cardinals throw first pitch at 12 p.m. both days.

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).