Beavers Fall 6-2 in Season Opener

The Bemidji State University baseball team wasn’t able to capitalize on its opportunities and left runners on base in the season opener Tuesday, falling 6-2 to Northwestern College (Iowa) at the RussMatt Greater Phoenix Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. The Beavers (0-1) held a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the fourth inning of the nine inning contest, but a three-run frame gave the Red Raiders a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Beavers scored their first run of season in the second inning. Senior Joe Chism (Great Bend, Kan.) drew a lead-off walk, then freshman Dylan Webb (Phoenix, Ariz.) ran for Chism as a courtesy runner, an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) rule. The Red Raider catcher tried to pick-off Webb at first, but threw the ball away, allowing the BSU base runner to move to third. Freshman Zach Braun (Lakeville, Minn.) then drove-in his first career RBI with a shot to center field.

The second run came in the top of the fourth inning, getting started by a senior outfielder Nick Jelacie (Brainerd, Minn.) lead-off double. He was brought home by another Northwestern mishap on a ball hit by junior Juan Molero (Maracaibo, Venezuela). The junior transfer squibbed a ball between first base and the pitchers mound, the first baseman tried to make a play but his throw was too quick for the pitcher to cover first and the ball rolled near the dugout, allowing Jelacie to round third and score.   

The Red Raider offense then came to play in the bottom half of the fourth, which included a triple and a homerun. Sophomore Ryan Van Someren (RHP, Milaca, Minn.) started for BSU and allowed all three runs. His day was done after the inning, throwing four complete, allowing three earned runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Northwestern added single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings en route to the 6-2 victory. Braun went 2-for-4 with an RBI and senior Brian Ahlers (Champlin, Minn.) was 2-for-3 with two bunt singles.

Northwestern competes in the NAIA. It went 37-20 last season, tying the school record for most wins in a season, making its first trip to the NAIA national tournament in school history.  

Bemidji State continues play tomorrow with two nine inning games, the first against Indiana Wesleyan at 10:30 a.m. (MT), followed by Arizona Christian University at 2:30 p.m. (MT).