THIEF RIVER FALLS - A walk-off single by Collin Rutledge powered the Bemidji VFW to an extra-innings 3-2 win in the opening game of the district tournament here.
"It was a good baseball game," VFW head coach Dan Bennett said. "Both teams pitched very well."
The game was tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth when Thomas Revering was hit by a pitch. He stole second, bringing up Rutledge with nobody out.
Rutledge then lined a flare over the head of the East Grand Forks third baseman that scored Revering from second and won the game 3-2.
Bemidji takes on either Perham or Thief River Falls at noon today in the winners bracket of the tournament. That game was not complete at presstime.
Brady Eckman got the win for the VFW (22-5), throwing all nine innings, giving up only seven hits and striking out five.
Bemidji jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring single runs in the first and second innings.
Eckman singled home Parker Lucas from third in the first inning to make it 1-0, then an East Grand Forks error in the second gave Bemidji a 2-0 lead.
EGF scored a single run in the third then tied the game with another run in the sixth to make it 2-2.
Bemidji 3, East Grand Forks 2 (9 innings)
EGF 001 001 000 - 2 14 3
Bemidji 110 000 001 - 3 8 0
Hemsing (L) and Kevidt. K-6, BB-0.
Eckman (W) and Revering. K-5, BB-1.