The Southwest Minnesota State baseball team took another step back from its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference playoff chances on Tuesday, getting swept by Bemidji State 8-1 and 14-8 in Bemidji.
"We had to at least win one game today to keep pace with the league to get that sixth spot for the tournament," said SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard.
In the first game, the Mustangs (22-23 overall, 12-18 NSIC) were only able to muster one run in the top of the seventh, while the Beavers (21-25, 14-18) had four multi-run innings in the game.
Jaryd Marks pitched the complete game for BSU, striking out six while walking two.
"He struck people out at critical times and the balls we hit hard got caught," Blanchard said. "We just couldn't string anything together against the guy. It was a pretty frustrating day."
In Game 2, SMSU was able to put runs on the board, but in its sixth game in three days, pitching was at a premium. The Mustangs threw five different pitchers in the game.
"We couldn't hold them down," Blanchard said. "Our sixth game in three days and they hit the ball very well."
The Beavers had another complete game in the second game from Logan Kalis. He struck out five and walked two in the win.
"(Kalis) threw 140-some pitches. He was effective throughout," Blanchard said. "There again, we got 13 hits. You expect to win a game when you get that many hits. We did hit some balls hard, but he struck out five guys."
Kalis also had a big day at the plate going 7-for-9 with four home runs, seven runs scored and 10 RBI in the wins.
"He was a difference in the first game. He hit the ball out of the park twice, two two-run homers, and he continued it in the second game," Blanchard said. "He was a very good hitter and did a very nice job against us."
The Mustangs will finish the regular season with a four-game homestand against Minnesota-Crookston. SMSU will have to win out and get help for a chance to make the playoffs.
"There are a lot of games that will happen (today) and we will have a better idea after that," Blanchard said. "We're going to need an awful lot of help, but we'll see how it plays out. You never know."
SMSU 000 000 1-1 6 1
BSU 202 022 X-8 9 1
SMSU-Bryce Rippentrop, Derek Skovbroten (5). BSU-Jaryd Marks. WP-Marks. LP-Rippentrop. HR: BSU-Logan Kalis (2), Marks. 3B: BSU-Lewis Baumann. 2B: SMSU-Adam Thygesen; BSU-Zach Braun. LOB: SMSU-8; BSU-4.
SMSU 131 200 001-8 13 2
BSU 255 010 10X-14 21 4
SMSU-Steven Wehr, Nate Dickhausen (2), Brandan Alfson (3), Corby McGlauflin (3), Dylan Shoemaker (7). BSU-Logan Kalis. WP-Kalis. LP-Dickhausen. HR: BSU-Kalis (2). 3B: SMSU-Ben Kroger. 2B: SMSU-Jon Ellis, Brian Ness; BSU-Kalis, Trevor Purvis, Dylan Webb. LOB: SMSU-9; BSU-12.