BASEBALL: BSU rally cut off in 7-4 loss

BEMIDJI -- Down to its last out in a 7-2 ballgame, the Bemidji State baseball team rallied to bring the tying run to the plate on Saturday against Northern State.

BSU sophomore Wyatt White (22) sprints to third base in the fourth inning against Northern State on Saturday at BSU. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Down to its last out in a 7-2 ballgame, the Bemidji State baseball team rallied to bring the tying run to the plate on Saturday against Northern State.

Then a 7-4 deficit, Austin Weisz stepped up to bat with runners on the corners. The first pitch was in the dirt and kicked to the backstop, so Jackson Back broke from third. In a mad dash home, he slid in head-first and extended his hand to the corner of the plate. NSU catcher Spencer Sarringar reached out his glove for the tag, and the home plate umpire didn’t hesitate: out.

“It’s tough to swallow the way the ball bounced right back to the catcher, but I thought our kid had his hand in before the tag was made,” BSU head coach Tim Bellew said. “Obviously, the guy who makes that decision didn’t think so.

“It’s a different game, the game’s still going on (if he’s safe). Who knows what happens? They committed four errors, and I’m not sure we weren’t ready to do something else. But it is what it is. You can’t change it. He made the call, game’s over.”

The rally-killing putout stopped the Beavers in their tracks, the scoreboard stuck at 7-4 at the BSU baseball field.


“They beat us. Our kids, I just told them that I’m proud of them,” Bellew said. “They fought, they battled, they scratched. It just wasn’t quite enough.”

Northern State was the designated home team for the relocated series. The Wolves (17-20, 12-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) wasted no time offensively in the nine-inning finale, putting up a pair of runs in the first on an RBI double and an RBI groundout. The surge continued with a Sarringar solo home run in the second, and NSU then made it 5-0 in the third with a two-run double.

“It’s not easy, ever, when you fall behind. And especially by that many. Sometimes it just happens,” Bellew said. “Falling behind, it makes you press a little more in the box. But on the other side, we hit a lot of balls hard right at people. It’s just baseball.”

Bemidji State (6-28, 5-17 NSIC) cracked the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Isaiah Grancorvitz singled in Wyatt White, and soon after Kade Nelson scored on a wild pitch to make it a 5-2 game.

Northern State restored its five-run lead with Niko Pezonella’s two-run single in the seventh, though, mounting a 7-2 advantage entering the ninth.

Blake Huntley started the comeback on two outs, beating out a booted ground ball to reach base on the error. Drake Wawro and Back followed with sharp singles, and Huntley scored on a wild pitch with Parker Borg up to bat.

Borg then reached on another error to score Wawro and bring Weisz to the plate, representing the tying run. But the ensuing wild pitch ricocheted right back to the catcher, and the bang-bang play at home went in the Wolves’ favor to end BSU’s bid for heroics.

“I’m not bellyaching,” Bellew said. “They beat us, but our kids fight. They play hard.”


Jesse Palafox took the loss from the mound, giving up five runs on six hits over three innings. The Beaver bullpen went five frames and combined to surrender two runs on four hits.

Bemidji State will be back on the road for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, against U-Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

Northern State 7, Bemidji State 4

BSU 000 200 002 -- 4-8-0

NSU 212 000 20X -- 7-10-4

WP: Stubbs (2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)

LP: Palafox (3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)


Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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