Amateur baseball: Mudcats sweep Hibbing, stay in race
The Bemidji Mudcats swept their Sunday twin bill at Hibbing to remain in the race in Arrowhead League amateur baseball.
The Cats went extra innings to take the opener 4-3, then dominated the nightcap in a 9-1 triumph.
It lifted the Cats to 6-3 in the Arrowhead percentage points behind the Grand Rapids Indians (5-2).
Hibbing dropped to 0-7.
The two teams meet again Sunday at BSU at 1 in the next Mudcats action.
They face three single games the following week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
The opener was a mound duel between Bemidji's Tyler Norland and Ben Sartori of the Miners.
Bemidji took a 3-1 lead into the last of the seventh before Hibbing scored twice to force extra innings.
Bemidji scored in the eighth to win.
Dan Bauer singled to open the game and Neil Huewe was hit by a pitch. With one gone, Sam Anderson singled to plate Bauer and Jeff Schaper's double sent Huewe across. But Sartori got the next two batters to prevent further scoring.
Norland carried his shutout into the fourth.
Then Beau Vlatkovich singled with two gone, took third on Sartori's double and scored when the throw to the plate got loose.
Norland got an insurance run in the seventh when Ryan Sander walked, Andrew Hengel singled and Doug Peterson reached on an error with Sander scoring.
Norland retired the first two batters in the seventh when Zakk Bandemer singled and scored when ex-Mudcat Shaun Ross singled to right and the ball got loose. Ross got to third on the misplay and scored on a wild pitch.
The tie lasted only briefly. In the eighth, Anderson walked with one gone and Schaper was hit by a pitch. Paul Fenner followed with a single to plate Anderson.
Norland set down the side in order in the last of the frame to gain his fifth straight win.
He fanned seven an d walked two. Bemidji's five hits came off as many different bats.
Bandemer and Vlatkovich had two for the Miners.
Bats come alive
The Mudcats bats came alive in the nightcap, running home five runs in the second and adding two spots in the third and sixth.
Bemidji had 12 hits off three Miners hurlers including Ross, who worked a scoreless seventh.
Sander went the distance spacing five hits for his fifth win in six decisions.
Bemidji took charge in the second aided by two errors.
Schaper walked to open the big frame and hits by Fenner and Hengel filled the bases.
Doug Peterson was hit by a pitch to force in the first run.
A second crossed as Bauer reached on an error and Huewe's one bagger sent two more home, The fifth scored on another misplay.
In the third, Pederson walked and Norland doubled.
Bauer scored one run with a single and Huewe's sacrifice fly plated the second.
It became 9-0 in the sixth when Huewe and Tony Klaers hit back to back doubles and Schaper gained a life on another boot as the second run crossed.
Hibbing averted a shutout in the last of the frame when Aaron Kritz doubled with one gone and David Grabowski singled with two outs to send him home.
San er fanned four and walked three. No Hibbing player had more than one hit. Huewe had three and Bauer, Klaers and Hengel two in the 12-hit Bemidji assault.