BASEBALL: Former Lumberjack Isaiah Biehn now on the rise at Bemidji State
Like he has been most all season, Isaiah Biehn was also central to Friday’s action. He finished with a pair of hits at the plate and scored the winning run.
BEMIDJI -- Isaiah Biehn is no stranger to the BSU baseball field. For a freshman who’s never had a true home game with the Bemidji State baseball team, that prior experience was quite a luxury on Friday.
“It’s a pretty good feeling to be back home,” Biehn said.
As the Beavers hosted Minnesota Duluth -- with May 6 marking the latest home opener since 1969 -- Biehn stood comfortably at his familiar home of shortstop. The former Bemidji High School standout has taken the collegiate transition in stride.
“It’s pretty cool,” Biehn said of his consistent playing time. “The guys on the team are really good with me, and the coaches have been really good working with me. I’m just really glad I can do it.”
Like he has been most all season, Biehn was also central to Friday’s action. He finished with a pair of hits at the plate and scored the winning run in the opening game of a doubleheader. Bemidji State rallied to win 5-4 in game one before UMD took the finale 14-1.
Biehn is hitting .238 this season, fourth best on the team, and has a team-high seven stolen bases. He ranks even higher on the mound, leading the pitching staff with a 4.81 ERA.
While Bemidji State (6-39, 3-28 NSIC) will finish decisively at the bottom of the conference standings, the hometown kid has been a bright spot this spring.
“He’s been awesome. And moving forward, I think he’ll only get better,” head coach Matt Ellinghuysen said. “He’s kind of a Swiss army knife for us on the mound, at short and even in the outfield at times. … He’s been a solid bat in our lineup. All-around, as far as production for a freshman, he’s been awesome for us.”
The Beavers fell behind 4-0 in Friday’s opener before storming all the way back. John Perkins scored on an error in the third inning, and in the fourth, he belted a three-run home run that leveled the game at 4-4.
In the fifth, Biehn pushed a leadoff single to right field, stole second and advanced to third on an error during the throw down. Two batters later, Biehn scored on Jack Munson’s RBI double, and the one-run margin held through the finish.
The Bulldogs (21-23, 15-16 NSIC) generated a scare by loading the bases in the sixth. But Travis Carruth relieved starting pitcher Logan Barrick and induced an inning-ending fly out, then worked a quick seventh inning for the four-out save.
Barrick finished with four runs allowed (zero earned) over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and picking up the victory.
“It’s really exciting when our team is grooving like that and we can pick up that win,” Biehn said. “It’s so much more fun of a ballgame.”
Game two shook out less favorably for BSU. Although Sam Kalberer’s RBI single opened the scoring in the first frame, UMD answered with the next 14 runs. Minnesota Duluth delivered the heaviest blows with a four-run second inning, a three-run fourth and a four-run ninth to salvage a split with ease.
Bemidji State closes the 2022 season at noon on Saturday, May 7, against Minnesota Duluth back at the BSU baseball field. While the Beavers are out of the playoff hunt, there’s still plenty to play for.
“More than anything, just try to win a series,” Ellinghuysen said of the goal for Saturday. “It’d be the first series we’ve won all year. (It’d also be) a springboard into next year for what we’re trying to accomplish with the growth of the program. I think we’ve made some steps forward. Not as many as we’d like to, but we’re definitely headed in the right direction.”