BASEBALL: Blackduck takes the first step back to state with pair of Sub-Section wins
BEMIDJI — The Section 8A baseball tournament continued Thursday at the Bemidji State University diamond and Blackduck remained on course to successfully defend its title by posting a pair of victories.
In the morning game the Drakes battered Northland-Remer 12-2 and in the winner’s bracket final they belted Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 11-2.
Earlier in the day WHA edged Lake of the Woods 5-3. In Thursday’s late elimination game Remer faced Lake of the Woods.
Thursday’s wins gave the Drakes their third straight sub-section crown and moved them only two victories from a second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
“This was Step 1,” said Blackduck coach Dwight Kalvig after the win over WHA.
“We’re aware that it will get tougher from here but the kids have a vision about what they want to accomplish. They are motivated and want to return to the state tournament.”
The second step will be taken 4 p.m. Tuesday at Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) in Thief River Falls. That step will be a game against the West Sub-Section champion. If the Drakes win that contest they will advance to the championship series of the double-elimination tournament. A loss in that game would drop Blackduck into a loser’s bracket.
Dylan Weisert paced the offense in the victory over WHA as the senior smacked a pair of doubles, including one in the second inning that drove in three runs.
That hit provided a 4-1 lead and Blackduck never looked back.
“I was behind in the count but I got a pitch that I could drive,” Weisert said.
“I think the double added energy to the team and motivated everybody to stay up and to play hard.”
The Wolves hurt their cause by issuing eight walks and committing three errors. Blackduck was able to turn those free bases into solo runs in the third and fourth innings and five runs in the fifth.
With Weisert and his fellow captains Shane Fenske, Mitch Sparby and Colton Bales leading the way, the Drakes have compiled a 15-2 record. This year’s success, and the experience gained through last spring’s run to the state tournament, should give the Drakes an advantage the rest of the way.
“We have experience and the veterans on this team have lived it and done it,” Weisert said. “Our goal on Tuesday is to win the first game and advance to the winner’s bracket. We’re anxious to get going again and to show the teams in the West Sub-Section that we’re ready for the challenge.”
The West Sub-Section teams had Thursday’s schedule washed away. They will make up those games today.
Blackduck 12, Northland 2
In Thursday’s section the Drakes scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning and coasted to a win over Northland-Remer.
The loss bounced Northland into Thursday’s elimination game while Blackduck advanced in the winner’s bracket.
Dylan Weisert went the distance on the Blackduck mound and limited the Eagles to only four hits. Northland also hurt its cause by committing four errors and issue nine walks.
Blackduck took control from the outset as a walk and a hit batter set the stage for five runs in the opening stanza. Weisert plated the first Drakes run with a single and later in the frame Shane Fenske and Colton Bails delivered 2-run singles.
Northland used a single, walk, ground ball and an error to draw within 5-2 in the third inning but the Drakes settled the issue with seven runs in the lower fourth.
The inning began with three walks and also included three Eagles errors and RBI singles by Fenske and Andrew Nissen.
Fenske paced Blackduck’s attack with two singles and three RBIs. Weisert had a pair of singles and Bales plated a pair of runners.
Blackduck 12, Northland 2
Northland 002 00 – 2 4 4
Blackduck 500 7x – 12 6 2
Likens (L), G. Gross (1), L.Gross (4) and Wicks. K-2, BB-9
Weisert (W) and Bales. K-6, BB-2
Blackduck 11, WHA 2
WHA 010 100 0 – 2 6 3
Blackduck 041 150 x – 11 8 1
Hall (L), Richter (5) and Buckentinn. K-1, BB-8
Peterson (W) and Bales. K-8, BB-3
Section 8A Playoffs
Game 1: Blackduck 11, Red Lake 1
Game 2: Northland Remer 5, Kelliher-Northome 4
Game 3: Lake of the Woods 12, Cass Lake-Bena 6
Game 4: Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 14, Laporte 1
Game 5: Norman County 4, Fertile-Beltrami 2
Game 6: Sacred Heart 8, Kittson County Central 4
Game 7: Red Lake County Central 8, Fosston 6
Game 8: Win-E-Mac 4, BGMR 3
Game 9: Blackduck 12, Remer 2
Game 10: WHA 5, Lake of the Woods 3
Game 11: Norman County vs. Sacred Heart., postponed to Friday
Game 12: RLCC vs. W-E-M, 12:30 p.m., postponed to Friday
Game 13: Blackduck 11, WHA 2
Game 14: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, postponed to Friday
Game 15: Remer vs. Lake of the Woods
Game 16: Game 10 loser vs. Game 11 loser, postponed to Friday
June 4, NCTC
Game 17: Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 18: Game 7 winner vs. Game 13 loser, 11 a.m.
Game 19: Game 16 winner vs. Game 14 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 20: Game 18 winner vs. Game 19 winner, 6:30 p.m.
June 6, NCTC
Game 21: Game 20 winner vs. Game 17 loser, 2 p.m.
Game 22: Game 17 winner vs. Game 21 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 23: Repeat of Game 22, if necessary