Baseball: Bauer pitches Mudcats to win over Blue Ox
The Bemidji Mudcats evened the city series at 1-1 Friday night, scoring a 1-0 victory over the Blue Ox at the BSU diamond.
The contest brought out the best crowd of the summer on a perfect baseball night to witness a classic pitchers' duel.
Dan Bauer went the route foe the Mudcats on a three hitter. Cody Gross and Matt Fossen shared mound duties for the Blue Ox, allowing nine hits but only one run.
That came suddenly in the third. With two outs, consecutive singles by Bauer, Ryan Sander and Dan Nolan sent home the lone run of the game.
The Cats threatened only once more.
That came in the seventh, again with two outs.
Ryan Johnson coaxed a walk, Bauer singled and Sander reached on an error.
But Fossen entered at this point to get Nolan to pop to short and retired the final seven batters in order.
Bauer, BSU bound next spring left Coach Tim Bellew smiling. He fanned 14, walked none and had problems until the final inning.
Justin Huether's fourth inning single to left stood between Bauer and a no hitter through the first eight frames. Only two batters had reached second base.
But Colton Smith and Huether opened the last of the ninth with singles.
Undaunted, Bauer fanned Nate Brown for the third time, turned Dan Bennett's comebacker into a force at third and whiffed manager Chris Conway on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
It was his first decision. Gross went down to his fourth loss in five decisions. He has been plagued by lack of run support all year.
Both teams have the weekend off. The Cats host Grand Rapids Wednesday in their next start, entertain the Duluth Express in a Saturday twin bill and play two at the Hibbing Miners Sunday.
The Blue Ox travels to Warroad Saturday for a North Border pair and hosts Roseau in another Sunday.