Beavers throw first pitch of 2018 season Thursday night at US Bank Stadium

Beavers throw first pitch of 2018 season Thursday night at US Bank Stadium
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Beavers throw first pitch of 2018 season Thursday night at US Bank Stadium

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University baseball program debuts its young squad with the first games of the 2018 season Thursday against University of Minnesota Duluth from US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Beavers and Bulldogs are set to play a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 10 p.m., with both games set for seven innings.

  • Who: Bemidji State (0-0, 0-0 NSIC) vs. Minnesota Duluth (0-0, 0-0 NSIC)
  • When: Thursday, March 1 (10 p.m./12 a.m.)
  • Where: Minneapolis, Minn. (US Bank Stadium)

Series History Under Bellew

  • Overall Record: UMD leads, 103-39
  • Neutral Record: UMD leads, 5-3

Bemidji State Overview

  • Bemidji State just missed out on the 2017 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference postseason after finishing the season 19-31 overall and 16-22 in conference play. The Beavers finished 11th in the conference with their most wins in three seasons.
  • BSU enters under 13th year head coach Tim Bellew, who is the second winningest coach in Beaver Baseball history with a 202-374-1 record overall.
  • The Beavers finished 2017 hitting .260 from the plate with a .336 on-base percentage, totaled a 5.87 ERA and fielded .955.

About Minnesota Duluth

  • The Bulldogs are led by 13th year head coach Bob Rients.
  • UMD retained a bulk of their top hitters including senior catches Tyler Midas (.320 BA) and senior outfielder Brett Milazzo (.319). Both will serve as team captains this season.
  • Sophomore shortstop/second baseman Chase Thomas (.302) and junior third baseman Ben Danielson (.480) also return, as Danielson led the NSIC in conference games only with a .419 batting average, .817 slugging percentage and .587 on-base percentage.
  • On the mound, UMD returns two of its top ERA leading relievers in Jalen Busker (2.79) and Evan Vick (3.45), as well as starting pitchers sophomore Rece Dietrich (2.80), senior Marcus Frederickson (3.69) and Nick Dorfman (4.50).

Gunner on the Base Paths

  • Junior Gunner Olszewski finished 2017 with a tie in the career stolen bases department at BSU with 28 free baggers.
  • Olszewski went 20-for-23 on stolen base attempts last season and helped BSU total a single-season record 61 stolen bases.
  • He finished tied for second in the NSIC in stolen bases last season and also tied for second with 15 runners caught stealing while fielding.

Now Batting: Scott Litchy

  • Senior outfielder/infielder Scott Litchy was the team’s most potent batter at the plate in 2017, leading the team with a .350 batting average, 29 runs scored, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and .642 slugging percentage.
  • He also led BSU with 16 multiple hit games and nine multiple RBI games.
  • Litchy totaled a 16-game reached base streak midway through the 2017 season.
  • On the base paths, Litchy went 8-for-9 on stolen base attempts to rank tied for second on the team.

Pitching Staff

  • Six pitchers total return from the 2017 roster, including BSU’s Pitcher to Watch, senior Connor McNallan.
  • McNallan led the BSU pitching staff with six complete games (second in the NSIC), an opposing batting average of .267, 47 strikeouts and three saves.
  • He finished 2017 with 10 starts and 65.2 innings pitched with a 3.70 ERA.
  • The Beavers’ next two most experienced hurlers from last season combined for 33.0 innings pitched behind the arms of junior Tommy Geisenhof and sophomore Alec Meyer.
  • BSU brought in nine additional arms that are on the active roster.

Quick Hits

  • Head coach Tim Bellew earned his 200th win in a sweep-clinching win against Southwest Minnesota State Saturday, April 29.
  • Bellew is the second winningest coach in program history and trails Bob Montebello (1959-87) by 88 wins.
  • The Beavers return just 12 letter winners from the 2017 roster while bringing on 27 newcomers.
  • Litchy holds the BSU career record with 11 sacrifice flies and is two home runs and three RBIs away from setting the BSU career records.
  • Litchy ranks among the BSU career top 10 in highest batting average, highest slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, total bases, intentional walks and stolen bases.
  • Olszewski is currently on a 12-game hitting streak and 21-game reached base streak dating back to last season. The last time he did not reach base was April 11, 2017 against University of Minnesota Crookston.

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).