Baseball: Bemidji Mudcats divide opener
The Bemidji Mudcats opened their new season dividing a twin bill at Nimrod Saturday.
They beat the host Nimrod Gnats 8-1 in the opening game before falling to Midway's Snurdbirds 8-7 in the nightcap.
The Cats play another twin bill next Saturday at Wadena taking on Verndale in the opener before facing the host Shockers in the nightcap.
Three Cats hurlers limited Nimrod to six hits in the opener with Andrew Hengel working the fourth and fifth frames to get the win.
Bemidji scored in the first when Ryan Johnson doubled, moved up on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
The Cats scored again in the fifth on Ryan Sander's single and a three base error on Pau Fenner fly to deep center.
It became 6-0 in the fifth when Dan Nolan doubled and scored as Sander reached on an error. After a walk, Hengel blasted a three run homer.
Nolan's single and doubles by Jeff Schaper and Hengel produced two more in the seventh.
The Nimrod run scored in the sixth off Matt Stasch on two walks and a single by Steve Funk.
Doug Shequen, who worked the first four innings, took the loss.
Midway moved to a 5-1 lead after three in the nightcap and added three more in the fourth for an 8-1 lead.
The Cats fought back with a run in the fifth and five in the seventh but came up a run short.
Sander worked the first three to get the loss with Josh Silvernagel and Dan Bauer working in relief.
Silvernagel singled in a Bemidji run in the third. Paul Fenner's single and Johnson's double produced another in the fifth,
With two outs hits by Hengel, Silvernagel, Nolan and Sander followed to cut the lead to one.
But Schaper flied out to end the game.
Jake Lund hurled the distance for Midway to get the win.
Fenner, Hengel.(1-0) (4), Stasch (6) ad Huewe
Doug Shequen, Funk (5) and Dylan Sheguen