The Bemidji Mudcats and Ada A's moved to the final of the 9th annual Rosco Invitational baseball tournament Saturday.
The Mudcats rode the strong right arm of Paul Fenner to a 2-0 win over the Wadena Shockers. Ada ousted the Bemidji Blue Ox 5-1.
The pair will clash at BSU at 1:30 today for the title. The Blue Ox and Wadena will square off at 11 for third place.
The seventh and fifth place games will be played at the Arena diamond at the same times with Nimrod facing Saturday's Ft. Ripley-Dent loser for seventh and Roseau's Royals battling the winner of that game for fifth.
The Blue Ox shocked Ft. Ripley's defending champions 7-6 in Saturday's opening games. Wadena turned back Roseau 5-1.
The Mudcats' win was all Fenner. The veteran right hander tantalized Wadena with a variety of speeds and locations, allowing only four singles, while fanning one and walking none.
In fact, he never reached a three ball count against any of the 25 batters he faced, a remarkable performance..
The Shockers only threat came in the third when they put runners at second and first with two outs. But a grounder to third brought a force out to end that frame. Fenner retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced in the last three frames.
His effort was needed since Bemidji struggled to score against righthander Jordan Wohlwend.
He allowed seven hits, fanned three and walked one.
The Cats scored in the first when Dan Bauer singled, stole second, advanced to third on Neil Huewe's grounder and scored on Dan Nolan's single.
The second run crossed in the second when Sam Anderson walked, Jeff Schaper singled, Doug Peterson moved them up with a sacrifice and Anderson crossed on a wild pitch.
That was the last serious Bemidji threat though the Cats had base runners in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Nolan went 3-3 to lead the batting attack. Both teams played errorless defense.
The win lifted the Cats t0 10-4-1 on the year,Tyler Norland will get today's starting call seeking his second win this summer.
The Cats play in the Nimrod tournament next Friday and Saturday.
Ox socks champs
The biggest shocker of the tournament came Saturday morning when the Blue Ox overcame three deficits to shade the defending champion Ft. Ripley Rebels 7-6.
Bemidji pounded out 14 hits against two Ripley hurlers with Thor Josefson and Dan Bennett getting three and Colton Smith, Justin Huether and Josh Kelsey two.
The Ox trailed 3-0 at the start, 5-4 after three and 6-5 after four but rallied to tie with a run in the fifth and won with another in the sixth.
The winning score came when Nate Brown was hit by a pitch, Kelsey singled and Huether plated Brown with a sacrifice fly.
It was a different story in the afternoon, however.
Jameson Benson, who had stopped the Ox 7-4 on eight hits last weekend at Ada in a league game, limited them to five Saturday, fanning three and walking one. Aaron Cook pitched a scoreless final inning.
Matt Fossen gave up seven hits and three eared runs, fanning two and walking two.
Ada scored in the first when Chris Ellingson walked, moved up on a sacrifice and scored on Benson's two-out double to the right center field fence.
The A's made it 4-0 in the third. Adam Lee singled and stole second. He scored as Ellingson reached on an error. With two gone, Benson plated the second run with a single. Sam Kinney followed with a one bagger and scored as Mike Gullingsrud reached on another misplay.
Ken Hayden scored the final A's tally when he lofted a high fastball over the green monster to open the Ada fourth.
The Blue Ox broke the ice in the last of the fourth when Justin Huether singled. He was forced at second by Nate Brown who advanced a base when the relay to first went wild.
He got to third on a wild pitch and scored on Bennett's sacrifice fly.
But that was it. Brown reached third with two gone in the sixth but was stranded and a two out walk went to waste in the seventh.
The Blue Ox four hits came off as many different bats, all singles. Benson had three of the seven Ada safeties.
Cody Gross (0-2) will get today's starting call. The Ox dropped to 3-6.