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Bemidji State comes up just short in 2-1 loss to Minnesota State

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ST. CLOUD — The last two times the Bemidji State baseball team met Minnesota State Mankato, the games were decided by one run.

Way back in February, the Beavers beat the nationally-ranked Mavericks 2-1 in 11 innings at the Metrodome. Minnesota State won the second game of that doubleheder 1-0.

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So when the teams met for a third time Friday afternoon in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Tournament game, it was no surprise that they were, once again, separated by a single run.

This time around, though, there was a bit more at stake — a spot in today’s NSIC championship game.

MSU booked itself a spot in today’s title game, squeaking by BSU 2-1 Friday afternoon at St. Cloud’s Faber Field.

The loss, BSU’s first of the double-elimination tournament, drops the Beavers’ record to 24-21 and sends them to today’s 11 a.m. elimination game against top-seeded St. Cloud State, who the Beavers beat in the first game of the tournament.

The winner gets another shot at the Mavericks (34-8) in the 3:30 p.m. title game; they’ll have to beat the Mavericks twice. The loser goes home.

On Friday night, senior Logan Kalis went the distance for the Beavers on the mound to suffer the loss and move to 4-3. In eight innings, he allowed just two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and zero walks.

The Mavericks, however, drew first blood off Kalis. Mike Andries doubled to left field in the second inning, scoring Taylor Branstad to make it 1-0.

In the third inning, they tacked on another run. Kalis hit Todd Standish with a pitch and Standish eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor McCallum.

The Beavers finally got on the board in the fifth inning, when senior shortstop Lewis Baumann hit a solo home run off MSU pitcher Bryce Bellin to make it 2-1.

The run was the first allowed by Minnesota State in the tournament and broke 32 consecutive shutout innings by the Mavericks.

Bellin got the win for MSU, going seven innings and giving up just the one run on four hits and a walk; he struck out five.

In the eighth inning, junior outfielder Chad Hanson hit a double to right center off MSU reliever Chris Williams, but Williams got himself out of the jam by striking out Zach Braun and forcing a groundout from Trevor Purvis.

In the ninth, closer Mahlon Zimmerman retired the Beavers 1-2-3 to record his seventh save of the season.

In all, BSU totaled five hits, three of which were for extra bases. The Beavers left five runners on base, while the Mavericks also left five.

Minnesota State 2, Bemidji State 1

Bemidji State         000 010 000 – 1 5 0

Minnesota State    011 000 000 – 2 6 1

Kalis (L, 4-3) and Braun. K-5, BB-0.

Bellin (W-3-1), Williams (8), Zimmerman (S, 9) and Johnson. K-6, BB-1.

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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