Baseball: Bemidji Mudcats keep Arrowhead title hopes alive
The Bemidji Mudcats kept their Arrowhead League title hopes alive Wednesday night, stopping the Grand Rapids Indians 4-1 at BSU.
If lifted the Cats to 4-3 in league play and dropped the Rapids to 5-2. The pair meet one more time at Grand Rapids.
Bemidji can gain ground this weekend hosting the Duluth Express Saturday in a 1 p.m. twin bill and traveling to Hibbing to battle the last place Miners in two more Sunday.
Wednesday's game was similar to the first two meetings between the pair except for the different winner.
In the first two meetings. Grand Rapids scored in the first inning to take control and blanked Bemidji through both games.
They threatened to do the same Wednesday when Bill Martinetto walked and Sam Sparen beat out a chopper down the third base line to open the game.
But Paul Fenner got out of the frame unscathed aided by a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning.
Fenner struggled with his control all night walking seven and allowing seven hits.
But he was tough in the clutch, stranding 11 base runners.
James Brubaker, who won the first 3-0 game at the Rapids, was almost as tough. He surrendered nine hits before leaving after seven but only three runs.
The Cats added their last run off reliever Mike Gebhart in the eighth.
Bemidji had some timely hitting. With two outs in the second, Sam Anderson singled, Andrew Hengel walked and Fenner singled to right to plate a run .
In the third, Ryan John son singled and stole second. Tony Klaers cashed him with a single.
Fenner breezed into the sixth where he retired the first two batters.
But he suddenly lost all control, walking three straight batters to fill the bases.
Alex Orgon followed with a single to right to send home one run.
But an Anderson to Jeff Schaper to Klaers relay cut down the second runner at the plate to preserve the lead.
Bemidji got that run back in the seventh when Johnson doubled and Klaers singled him home.
Gebhart came on in the eighth to walk the first two batters and issue a wild pitch. Hengel cashed the run with a sacrifice fly.
Johnson, Klaers and Anderson all had two hits for Bemidji. Orgon had a pair for the Indians
Coupl4d with Monday night's win at Ada, as yet unreported, the Cats reached 16-6-1.
Fenner, who recently won a no walk game without going to three balls on a single batter, threw 150 pitches Wednesday.
It will likely sideline him from the mound for the weekend.
Tyler Norland and Dan Bauer are Saturday possibilities with Ryan Sander and Doug Peterson Sunday.