Amateur baseball: Blue Ox earn trip to Class C state tournament
ROSEAU — The Bemidji Blue Ox will head to southern Minnesota later this month as the team qualified for the Class A state amateur baseball tournament after winning a pair of Region 10C games over the weekend in Roseau.
Bemidji returns to Roseau on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against either Ada or Roseau. Those teams will square off earlier in the day and the winner will take on the Blue Ox. Both teams will advance to the state meet but the winner will claim the region’s top seed while the loser will head to state as the second seed.
The state tournament begins Aug. 14 at Belle Plaine and Jordan.
In their region opener the Blue Ox blanked East Grand Forks 8-0 behind Ryan Sander’s complete-game 3-hitter. EGF advanced only three runners as far as second during the entire nine innings and no one reached third.
Bemidji fared better at the plate, ripping nine hits. Nick Hovila had three of them and Cody Rutledge provided the only run Bemidji would need when he drilled a solo home run to lead off the home second.
The Blue Ox added two in the fourth as Connor McNallan singled, Matt Baier reached on an error and Sam Dwyer plated both with a single.
Hovila’s single and stolen base combined with an error and Sander’s sacrifice fly to center for a run in the fifth and Bemidji added three insurance tallies in the eighth with the aid of two hit batters, an error, a walk and singles by Collin Rutledge and Hovila.
Sander fanned eight and walked only one while the defense played well, committing only one error. East Grand Forks’ defense fell apart as it booted eight chances.
Ada’s defense was equally porous in the winner’s bracket final as Ada helped the Blue Ox post a 12-3 victory by booting eight chances.Those errors, coupled with 10 Bemidji hits, resulted in a lop-sided win and guaranteed a trip to the state tournament.
Collin Rutledge earned the pitching victory as the lefty allowed only two runs in six innings of work. McNallan pitched two innings and Simon Anderson finished.
Bemidji opened the scoring with a run in the first as Sander walked, Cody Rutledge singled and McNallan singled in Sander.
Ada fell apart defensively in the second stanza as four errors and singles by Collin Rutledge and Hovila combined for three runs.
The Blue Ox took advantage of three more Ada boots to score six runs in the fourth. The inning also included singles by Mitch Hendricks, Hovila and Cody Rutledge.
Bemidji capped the scoring with solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Cody Rutledge and Hovila each delivered a pair of singles.
Region 10C Tournament
Blue Ox Results
East Grand Forks 000 000 000 - 0 3 8
Blue Ox 010 210 13x - 8 9 1
Sander (W) and Baier. K-8, BB-1
Ada 002 000 100 - 3 7 8
Blue Ox 130 611 00x - 12 10 1
Fettig (L), Lundin (4) and Gillingsrud, Kapes (4). K-6, BB-7
Collin Rutledge (W), McNallan (7), Anderson (9) and Baier. K-11, BB-6