Baseball: Mudcats, Blue Ox on the road for tournaments
Bemidji's two amateur baseball teams return to the diamond this weekend for tournament action.
It will be the first for both since the Rosco Invitational here last weekend won by the Mudcats with the Ox taking third.
Both hope to keep up that brand of play through the weekend.
The Cats head south to Nimrod for the Gnats three day meet opening tonight at 6 against their hosts, a team they defeated 8-1 in the season opener at Nimrod and 6-5 in the opening round of the Rosco here last Friday night.
They have gone 6-0-1 in their last seven starts and stand 11-4-1 overall .
Manager Scott Seaton should have his three top hurlers set for action in Ray Sander (4-1), Tyler Norland (2-0) and Paul Fenner (2-1). The team will also be bolstered by the return of centerfielder Ryan Johnson from a family vacation in Florida to add another bat to the lineup and more speed on the bases.
Tony Klaers should also be back after missing last weekend while attending a wedding.
The Bemidji-Nimrod contest will be the only game tonight. The upper bracket will be completed tomorrow at 10 a.m. when St. Paul faces Roseau at Nimrod.
In the lower bracket, games at Sebeka match Bluffton with East Grand Forks at 9 and Richmond with Carlos at 11.
If Bemidji wins tonight it will face the St. Paul-Roseau winner at 4 Saturday. If it loses tonight it takes on the loser of that game tomorrow at noon, both games at Nimrod.
Sunday games have the title game at 4:30, the third place game 2:30, the fifth place game at 12:30 and the seventh place game at 10:30, all at Nimrod.
The Blue Ox dropped both games at the Hibbing meet last year both one run decisions.
But they received some excellent performances last weekend to oust defending champion Ft. Ripley 7-6 in the opening round of the Rosco and take third place1-0 over Wadena in the final round after falling 5-1 to Ada in the semifinals.
Cody Gross (1-2) Matt Fossen (1-2), Justin Huether (0-0) and Colton Smith (2-0) should handle the pitching this weekend.
The Ox is now 4-6, one of its wins over the Mudcats in its season opener.
The Cats face Arrowhead road games at Nashwauk, Grand Rapids and Duluth before their next home contest July 1 with Grand Rapids.
The Blue Ox hosts Crookston and Ada in twin bills next weekend.