The Bemidji Mudcats will host their 9th annual Rosco Invitational baseball tournament this weekend with eight teams vying for the title won by Fort Ripley's Rebels last year.
The meet honors the memory of former Mudcat outfielder Dale Ross who died early this century.
Ross played locally for both Bemidji High and BSU during his school years.
The meet opens tonight at 6:30 when the Mudcats take on Nimrod at 6:30, a team it defeated 8-1 in its season opener at Nimrod.
That will be followed by a 9 p.m. encounter between the Ada A's and Dent Wildcats in the lower bracket.
Play resumes tomorrow at two sites.
At BSU, Wadena's Shockers and the Roseau Royals clash at 10 in the upper bracket while Ft. Ripley takes on the Bemidji Blue Ox at the same time at the Arena diamond.
The semifinals in both brackets will follow in the afternoon.
At 12:30, the Bemidji-Nimrod winner faces the Wadena-Roseau winner while the Ada-Dent winner meets Ft. Ripley or the Blue Ox at 3.
The first round losers will play the consolation semifinals at 12:30 and 3 at the Arena.
The final four games Saturday find the seventh place game at 11 and fifth place contest at 1:30 at the Arena.
At BSU, the third place game will start at 11 and the title game at 1:30.
Ft. Ripley won three well pitched games to take the 2008 title. It opened with a 3-2 decision over the Mudcats and followed with 4-3 and 3-2 wins over Dent and Wadena.
Dent beat the Minneapolis Blue Sox 12-6 in the third place game while fifth went to the Mudcats 5-2 over Soderville and seventh to Ada 4-0 over the East Bethel Bandits from St. Paul.
Five teams from last year's field are back this year. New are the Blue Ox, Roseau and Nimrod.
It will be the first appearance for the three-year-old Blue Ox who hold a 2-1 victory over the Mudcats this year, their first in history.
They have split with Roseau and lost twice to Ada and bring a 2-5record into play.
The Cats are 8-4-1 after their Tuesday night win over Nashwauk.
In addition to Nimrod, they also hold wins over Wadena while losing 3-2 to Ft. Ripley last weekend.
Bemidji has taken four of the past eight titles with Clarissa, Alexandria, the Duluth Express and Ft. Ripley winning once.
Manager Scott Seaton will go with Ryan Sander (3-1) Paul Fenner (1-1) and Tyler Norland (1-0) this weekend. He expects to have most of his veteran cast on hand for the weekend.
The Blue Ox likely will use Cody Gross (0-2), Justin Huether (0-0), Matt Fossen (1-1) and Colton Smith (1-0).