Mavericks sneak past Beavers with walk off hits in doubleheader finale

April 04, 2016123456789RHE
Bemidji State300310000742
Minnesota State2014000018133
Win: Belter (3-0) 3.200003
Loss: Heisick (2-3) 0.221101
Wixon (BSU) 312200
Wenzel (MSU) 423100
April 04, 20161234567RHE
Bemidji State0000000050
Minnesota State0000001161
Win: Bauer (3-1) 7.050004
Loss: Fransen (0-3) 6.261151
Litchy (BSU) 302000
Miller (BSU) 302000
Branstad (MSU) 202020
Hart (MSU) 402100
Mavericks sneak past Beavers with walk off hits in doubleheader finale
Monday, April 4, 2016
Mavericks sneak past Beavers with walk off hits in doubleheader finale

MANKATO, Minn. (MSU Baseball Complex) -- Monday’s doubleheader finale between Bemidji State University and Minnesota State University Mankato came down to the final innings to decide a winner as BSU fell, 8-7 and 1-0, in Mankato, Minn. The Beavers (3-21, 0-8 NSIC) came back from a three-run deficit in game one before starting pitcher Ryan Fransen went the full stretch in game two against the Mavericks (14-8, 5-3 NSIC).

Game Three/Final Nine: Beavers 7, Mavericks 8

The Beavers took the upper hand early in the final day of the series with three first inning runs. Second baseman Joey Hanowski and center fielder Nick Hovila lead off with back-to-back walks and advanced a base with a bunt for a hit by right fielder Tyler Nelson. A passed ball allowed Hanowski to take home while left fielder Scott Litchy and designated hitter Mason Cisneros each added an RBI to take a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom half.

The Mavericks added two runs in the bottom of the first before tying the game in the third. Catcher Matthew Wixon helped BSU retake the lead with his first RBI of the season, driving in third baseman Duane Miller from second. Following a pitching change by MSU, Hanowski and Hovila drew back-to-back walks again. The second walk came with the bases loaded to extend the lead. Nelson hit into a fielder’s choice for the Beavers’ final run of the fourth inning and a 6-3 lead.

Wixon showed up in the clutch again in the top of the fifth inning after Minnesota State took a 7-6 lead. He singled through the left side to tie the game at 7-7 but was thrown out trying to extend the hit to a double. Both teams went scoreless over the next four innings until the bottom of the ninth inning as two singles led to the walk off win for the Mavericks.

Wixon finished 2-of-3 from the plate with two RBIs and one run scored. Hovila drew four walks on the day, and recorded one RBI and one run scored.

Left-hander Nate Heisick (2-3) took the loss in 0.2 innings pitched with one strikeout and Dakota Belter earned the win for MSU. Starting pitcher Mark Lesinski (0-4) finished with a no decision after throwing 3.2 innings with two strikeouts. Right-hander Logan Riedel (0-0) went 4.0 innings in relief, including two strikeouts to move the game to extra innings.

Game Four: Beavers 0, Mavericks 1

Starting pitcher Ryan Fransen and Minnesota State’s starter Mitchell Bauer provided a pitcher’s dual in game two as each threw the entirety of the game. Both hurlers shut out the other team until the final hit of the day. Fransen allowed six hits through the game compared to five for Bauer.

The Beavers advanced six runners into scoring position, including a runner at third once in the fourth and fifth innings. Both opportunities came with two outs, though. A hit in the bottom of the seventh set up Minnesota State’s second walk off hit of the day in the slim win.

Fransen (0-3) recorded the loss for the Beavers and Bauer took the win for the Mavericks. Miller and Litchy each went 2-of-3 from the plate to total four of the Beavers’ five hits.

Bemidji State turns around for another quick road series April 6 at Northern State University in Abderdeen, S.D. The Beavers and Wolves will play a two-game series before BSU returns home for its home opener April 9-10.

For more information on the Bemidji State baseball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeaversBase or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (

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).