BASEBALL: Bemidji Legion Post 14 goes 1-2 at St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD — Bemidji Post 14 Legion baseball team took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of Friday night’s game against the St. Cloud 76ers.
It took the two teams more than 24 hours to finish the game.
Storms in the St. Cloud area forced the postponement of the St. Cloud Chutes Legion Tournament until Saturday at the MAC in St. Cloud, and many teams in the tournament had to play three games Saturday.
What was formerly a round-robin tournament turned into more of a series of regular games at one site due to the weather and the new format was not kind to Bemidji.
Although Post 14 defeated Tri-City Blue 9-1 in the first game Saturday evening, the team lost to Rogers 7-2 in the middle game of the evening thanks to the tournament’s time-limit rule.
And when Post 14 finally resumed their game against the 76ers later that night, they couldn’t finish what they had started. The 76ers won 2-1.
“We started that game Friday and scored a run but they pulled us off the field when they looked at the radar,” Bemidji head coach Nate Blumhagen said. “We didn’t play badly Saturday, just couldn’t find more timely hits against them.”
Saturday’s games started off nicely for the Bemidji offense. Post 14 (2-6) won the first game of the day with a 9-1 drubbing of Tri-City Blue.
Post 14 jumped on Tri-City early in the game, scoring five runs in the first inning and four in the second of the five-inning contest.
Tri-City got on the board with a single run in the third inning, but in general starter Collin Rutledge was in control, going all five innings and picking up the win. He struck out six batters and gave up just four hits in the game.
Bemidji scattered seven hits across their lineup, no player had more than one but Thomas Revering led the way with three RBIs.
In the second game of the afternoon, Bemidji and Rodgers were hampered by the tournament’s 1 hour, 40 minute time limit.
Both teams scored single runs in the second inning and Bemidji took the lead, briefly, in the fourth inning thanks to a solo home run from Nick Hovila.
However, Rogers took the lead right back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Post 14 ran into some trouble in the sixth inning, however. Starter Seth Anderson was starting to tire and because of the time limit Blumhagen wasn’t allowed to make a pitching change.
“We were only down 3-2 but we were up against the time limit and they only gave us like 15 minutes to make three outs if we wanted to bat again,” Blumhagen said. “So I didn’t get to make a pitching change and the other team started getting some big hits.”
Rogers scored for more runs in the inning to make the final score 7-2 but the game was much closer than the score indicated.
Anderson took the tough-luck loss for Bemidji, going all six innings, striking out five and walking four. Bemidji had five errors, which also contributed to the lopsided score.
In the nightcap, Bemidji and the 76ers resumed their game immediately with Post 14 up 1-0.
This time, the game went more quickly, with Connor McNallan pitching well.
However, neither team managed to get on the board until the 76ers picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 2-1.
St. Cloud held on to win by the same score.
McNallan went all seven innings and struck out six while walking just three.
Because of the weather-shortened schedule, the previous tournament plan has been scrapped and Bemidji will take on the 76ers at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in a friendly matchup at Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Bemidji 9, Tri-City Blue 1
Bemidji 540 00 – 9 7 0
Tri-City Blue 001 00 – 1 4 1
Rodgers 7, Bemidji 2
Bemidji 010 100 – 2 5 5
Rodgers010 204 – 7 7 2
St. Cloud 76ers 2, Bemidji 1
Bemidji 100 000 0 – 1 3 1
76ers 000 002 x – 2 5 1