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Amateur baseball: Blue Ox blitz Cass Lake for league playoff title

BEMIDJI -- The abbreviated Lake and Pine League playoffs ended Monday night as the Bemidji Blue Ox blitzed Cass Lake 13-0 in the title game at the BSU diamond.

The Blue Ox also claimed the regular season crown while Cass Lake was second and Nevis third. Nevis folded prior to the playoffs so Cass Lake and Bemidji automatically advanced to the Region 10C tournament which begins Saturday in Roseau. Because Bemidji won Monday, the Blue Ox will be the league's top seed while Cass Lake will be the second seed.

Bemidji (14-4) will have a bye in the region's opening round while Cass Lake (4-11) will take on the champion of the Norman-Polk League. The Blue Ox will play the winner between the Northwest Border runner-up and the second place team from the Norman-Polk.

Also playing in the tournament is the Northwest Border playoff champion.

The tournament will end Aug. 9 and the top two teams will advance to the state tournament which begins Aug. 15 in Belle Plaine and Jordan.

Ryan Sander was Monday's winning pitcher as he limited the Reds to two singles in his five innings of work. Mitch Hendricks tossed the final two innings and did not allow a baserunner.

Bemidji scored all the runs it would need during a four-run second inning and setting the table were Cody Rutledge who singled and Connor McNallan who doubled. Matt Baier's ground ball plated Rutledge and, after Sam Dwyer walked, Simon Anderson drove in a pair with a single. Anderson promptly stole second and scored courtesy of Collin Rutledge's single.

The Blue Ox scored six more times in the fourth on singles by Collin Rutledge, Hendricks, Nick Hovila, Sander, Cody Rutledge and McNallan. They capped the scoring with three more in the sixth on the strength of Sander's double, singles by McNallan and Baier, plus Dwyer's two-run double.

Sander, McNallan and Collin Rutledge each had three hits and two RBIs. Baier and Cody Rutledge had a pair of hits.

Cass Lake's hits were singles by Nolan Cole and Mike Hanson.

Lake and Pine Playoffs


Cass Lake 000 000 0 - 0 2 2

Blue Ox 040 603 x - 13 17 1

Coyle (L), Trosen (5), Hanson (6) and Trosen, Coyle (5). K-7, BB-0

Sander (W), Hendricks (6) and Baier. K-9, BB-0

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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