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Anderson leads Bemidji Legion at Brainerd

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Anderson leads Bemidji Legion at Brainerd
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji American Legion divided its sub-district twin bill at Brainerd Thursday, winning the opener 5-4 and dropping the nightcap 9-4.

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The opening game win snapped a six game losing skid. Bemidji now stands 3-11 but 3-7 in league play., Brainerd is 2-6.

The Legion faces another busy week ahead hosting Nisswa Monday night in two games, Thief River Tuesday in two more and travels to Park Rapids for a Wednesday pair.

Bemidji showed an improved attack, banging out nine hits in each game, six for extra bases.

It rode the four hit hurling of Simon Anderson to win the opener. Anderson out hurled Joel Martin who went the distance for the home team.

Bemidji opened with two in the first when Tyler Follis doubled and reached third on Cody Rutledge's single.

Anderson sent Follis home with a single and Matt Hietala scored Rutledge with a ground out.

It became 3-0 in the second when Luke Burns reached on a two out error,. Jeremiah Graves walked and Follis sent Burns home with a single.

Brainerd broke through in the third when Brett Jenkins singled, Rob Veith walked and Jenkins scored as Nate Smolke reached on an error.

Bemidji made it 5-1 in the fifth when Rutledge doubled, Hietala walked, Tyler Tatro doubled to score one and the second crossed as Billy Statton reached on an error.

Brainerd got one back in its at bat when Tom Fairbanks singled with two outs and Anderson walked the next three batters to force him home.

An error opened the gates in the sixth. Veith doubled and a ground out and Martin's one bagger each plated a run.

But Anderson got the final two outs on fly balls and set down the side in order in the seventh, fanning two.

He ended with eight strikeouts but walked nine in squaring his season record at 1-1. Brainerd managed only four hits.

Follis, Rutledge and Anderson all had two for Bemidji.

Fielding woes

Bemidji experienced defensive difficulties in the second game, making four errors which staked Brainerd to five unearned runs.

It wasted a five hitter for Graves who worked into the sixth with Statton closing.

Follis singled and scored on an error in the first.

But Brainerd went ahead with four in the third,, all on one blow.

An error, single and walk filled the bases with one gone and Smolke cleared them with a grand slam.

Bemidji got two back in the fourth when Anderson walked, Hietala singled and Paul Voss plated both with a double.

But Brainerd answered with one on an error and added two in the fifth when two walks and a fielder's choice which failed to get an out loaded the bases. Both runs scored as Travis Whirley reached on another error.

Bemidji came up with its final run in the sixth on singles by Voss, Nick Lee and Graves to trail 7-4.

But another error sent Smolke to the plate with two outs and the first sacker responded with his second homer of the game.

Statton came on at this point to give up two singles before getting the last out on a strikeout.

Graves and Voss had a pair of hits for Bemidji.

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Pioneer staff reports
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