BEMIDJI - One poor inning cost the Bemidji Blue Ox its season.
The Ada Athletics rallied from a late 1-0 lead to defeat the Blue Ox 3-1 Saturday afternoon at the Bemidji State baseball diamond. The loss eliminates the Blue Ox from the Region 10C tournament.
After Blue Ox starting pitcher Ryan Sander got the first two outs of the inning in the bottom of the sixth, the next three hitters - Dillan Lunoil, Yuri Johnson and Evan Massman - singled. Lunoil and Johnson each stole second and each came around to score to give Ada its first lead, 2-1.
The A's extended their lead in the eighth, when Johnson led off with a single then stole second. He was injured on the steal and Mike Gullingsrud replaced him on the basepaths.
The A's capitalized on that baserunner. Bill Atwood hit grounder to short that was misplayed by Joel Conway and Gullingsrud came around to score, making it 3-1 Ada.
The Blue Ox had their chances to tie the game, putting the tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings.
Matt Baier singled and was sacrificed to second to lead off the eighth inning, but was stranded there when Ada hurler Aaron Cook got a strikeout and a flyout to get out of the inning.
In the ninth inning, Duane Beihn singled with two outs but was forced out at second base to end the game.
The Blue Ox (21-9) had taken the lead in the third inning when Joel Conway drew a walk to lead things off. He was sacrificed to second then came around to score on a one-out single from Baier then a sacrifice fly from Bryan Jameson. Baier reached third but never came home.
In all, Bemidji managed only one run on seven hits. Baier led the way with three hits while Jameson had two and an RBI. Beihn and Ryan Sander rounded out the Blue Ox hits for the night.
Sander took the tough-luck loss for the Ox. He gave up nine hits but only three runs - two earned - in eight innings of work. He also struck out eight and walked only two.
Jameson Benson pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Ada win while Aaron Cook earned the save.
The A's took on Roseau for the Region 10C title later Saturday night. Both teams will advance to the state tournament next week.
Ada A's 3, Bemidji Blue Ox 1
Bemidji 001 000 000 - 1 7 3
Ada 000 002 01x - 3 9 0
Sander (L) and Conway. K-8, BB-2.
Benson (W), Cook (S, 8) and Massman. K-6, BB-2.