Bemidji captures Sagedahl title
BEMIDJI — After opening the season 2-5 the Bemidji High School baseball team has won seven of its eight games and has rekindled thoughts about a top-four seed in the Section 8-3A playoffs.
“There isn’t any team in the second with fewer than four losses,” said BHS coach Mike Fogelson. “It seems weird to talk about a top-four seed after opening 2-5 but we’re playing well now and who knows what could happen.”
The Lumberjacks continued their fine play this weekend at the Des Sagedahl Invitational which was played at the Bemidji State University diamond, going 3-0 and winning the tournament.
Friday night BHS outlasted Maple Grove 8-7 in 10 innings in its tournament opener and later Friday the Lumberjacks defeated Duluth East 4-2 in a game that ended after midnight.
On Saturday the Jacks managed a workmanlike 7-0 victory over Roseau in the tournament’s final game.
Saturday’s other action saw Maple Grove blank Duluth East 3-0 and topple Roseau 12-1 in five innings.
The standings in the round-robin event found Bemidji winning at 3-0, Maple Grove finishing 2-1, Duluth East 1-2 and Roseau 0-3.
Fogelson has been impressed with Bemidji’s play during its recent winning streak and was especially pleased with the contributions of his pitchers during the Sagedahl tournament.
“We threw four guys over the weekend and all of them were effective,” the coach said. “Our goal this weekend was to have our pitchers establish themselves and that’s exactly what they did.”
Collin Rutledge and Connor McNallan teamed for Friday’s win in the marathon against Maple Grove.
Seth Anderson and McNallan combined to dispose of Duluth East and Mitch Buckanaga went the distance Saturday against Roseau, needing only 86 pitches to toss the seven-inning shutout.
“Our pitchers threw strikes and that’s what they needed to do,” Fogelson said. “And offensively the top of our lineup had a very nice weekend.”
Saturday against Roseau the first five batters contributed seven of Bemidji’s eight hits. Nick Hovila and McNallan each had two singles and Drew Peterson capped the scoring with a 2-run round-tripper over the extended left-field screen in the fifth inning.
The Lumberjacks opened the scoring in the third when Hovila walked, advanced to second and third on wild pitches and completed his trek when Billy Baumgartner delivered a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth inning Devin Barrett doubled, Austin Weidemann singled him to third and Mark Fenner plated Barrett with a ground ball.
BHS sealed the win in the fifth when Hovila singled and stole second, McNallan plated him with a single and Peterson launched his home run.
The Lumberjacks never trailed in Friday’s victory over Duluth East but the win was never secure.
Peterson’s double, Fenner’s walk, a double steal and an error on Tom Revering’s ground ball provided a 2-0 lead in the second but the Greyhounds answered with two in the top of the third.
Bemidji regained the lead in the third on Hovila’s single, McNallan’s double and Peterson’s RBI single.
The Jacks added an insurance run in the fifth when Barrett walked, Fenner was hit by a pitch, Revering singled to load the bases and Parker Lucas came through with a run-scoring single.
Peterson and Revering each pounded a double and a single to pace the offense.
“We’re playing better baseball now than we were at the start of the season and, hopefully, we can continue to play this well the rest of the week,” Fogelson said.
Another busy week begins Monday when BHS hosts Detroit Lakes in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
Tuesday finds the Lumberjacks at Moorhead for a twinbill and the regular season will end Thursday with a game at Brainerd.
The first round of the section playoffs will be on Memorial Day.
Des Sagedahl Tournament
Bemidji 3-0, Maple Grove 2-1, Duluth East 1-2, Roseau 0-3
Friday’s Late Result
Bemidji 4, Duluth East 2
Maple Grove 12, Roseau 1
Maple Grove 3, Duluth East 0
Bemidji 7, Roseau 0
Friday’s Late Game
Duluth East 002 000 0 – 2 5 2
Bemidji 021 010 x – 4 8 1
Anderson (W), McNallan (S) (7) and Revering. K-9, BB-1
Roseau 000 000 0 – 0 5 0
Bemidji 001 130 x – 5 8 1
Halverson (L) and Norberg, K-4, BB-1
Buckanaga (W) and Weidemann. K-4, BB-1