LITTLE FALLS -Bemidji and Little Falls earned berths in next week's Legion district baseball tournament in St. Cloud by defeating Brainerd Thursday in the sub-district meet.
In Thursday's opener Little Falls downed Brainerd 3-0. Bemidji followed with a 12-9 win over Brainerd which bounced the losers from the double-elimination event.
In Thursday's late game Bemidji grabbed the sub-district's top seed for next week's tournament by stopping Little Falls in a 7-1 win.
Mitchell Hendricks pitched five innings of relief to help Bemidji outlast Brainerd in the first round of the sub-district tournament.
Ryan Hirt started on the Legion mound but was relieved by Hendricks during Brainerd's 3-run fifth which tied the game 5-5. Bemidji answered with five runs in its half of the stanza but Brainerd battled back again, scoring four in the eighth to claw within 10-9.
The Legion regained control with two in the eighth. Cody Rutledge relieved Hendricks in the ninth and retired Brainerd without incident to record the save.
Brainerd took a 2-0 lead in the upper third but the Legion answered with a solo run. Sam Dwyer keyed a 4-run Bemidji fourth with a 2-run single. Dom Hayle followed with an RBI triple which gave the Legion a temporary 5-2 cushion.