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Bemidji State off and running with 7-3 start

The Bemidji State baseball team is off to its best start in the past 15 years with a 7-3 record.

"That's huge," pitcher Phil Bray said of the 7-3 start. "It gets our morale up a lot. We hope to ride this hot start into conference play."

A big part of the 7-3 record was the 5-1 performance during last week's spring break trip to Arizona.

"I think the biggest part is getting outside and playing baseball," Bemidji State head coach Tim Bellew said.

"We did not play as well as I would have wanted down in Arizona. But we were able to get a couple of wins that we probably shouldn't have. That is huge for us. It means we are starting to turn the corner," the coach added.

In three of the five victories the Beavers scored at least 14 runs. That production has been generated by seven players who are hitting over .300

"More than anything we emphasize on-base percentage and quality at-bats," Bellew said. "At the end of spring break, we saw a lot of kids start to swing the bat well."

Logan Kalis, Juan Molero, and Jaryd Marks are all hitting above .300 and have a combined 13 extra base hits and 32 runs batted in.

Bray, Kalis, Marks, and Ryan Van Someren have carried the pitching staff during the early portion of the campaign.

All four of them have at least one win and an ERA below 3.50.

Bray leads the staff with 17 innings pitched. He is also 3-0 with an ERA of 3.18.

"Three wins is nice, but I don't want to stop there. I want to keep building on that," Brey said. "Every time I go out I hope to give my team a chance to win."

As the Beavers head to Nebraska this weekend to face fellow NSIC member Wayne State in a non-conference series, they will look to continue improving before beginning conference play at March 24 at Concordia-St. Paul.

"In my second year here we only won nine games," Bellew said. "This year, we're already 7-3. It's exciting for the kids to go down to Wayne and play a team in our conference to see where we are at."

BSU and Wayne State will play four games this weekend, with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

"If we can play well, hopefully, we can get a few victories," Bray said. "Wayne is a good team and it will be a good test before we start the conference season."