Blue Ox bats come alive in sweep over Thief River Falls
The long missing Blue Ox offense came into full swing Sunday as it swept a twinbill from visiting Thief River Falls 11-3 and 9-3 in amateur baseball at the BSU diamond.
It lifted Chris Conway's forces to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the Norman-Polk's northern division.
Thief River dropped to 5-5.
Roseau and Warroad, minus games against each other, are 3-1 and 1-3.
The next scheduled game for the Ox is July 8 hosting Cass Lake though that pair must still reschedule a rainout.
Bemidji used the big inning to win both games.
The Ox rammed home 10 runs in the first inning of the opener and eight in the fourth of the second. Garrison Harris went the route to take the opener while Matt Fossen worked into the sixth to win the second game.
Harris spaced five singles, fanned nine and walked five to reach 2-0. Bemidji made his task easier with its big first inning.
The Ox combined eight singles with two walks and two errors with Sol Schneider and Duane Biehn each driving home two runs with singles.
The final run crossed in the third on a pair of two-out singles, a walk and wild pitch.
TRF scored two gift runs in the fourth on a misplayed fly ball double to center, walk, wild pitch and single. They added a final run in the seventh on a single, walk and another wild pitch.
Brian Jamieson and Landon Harris each had two hits for the Ox.
Andy Engesser, who faced only 13 batters in the first, retiring one, took the loss.
The second game was close through the midpoint.
Fossen matched zeroes with Kyle Larson, a left handed sidearmer who gave Bemidji trouble the first time through the lineup.
TRF broke through in the fourth on a single, walk, double steal and sacrifice fly.
Bemidji had one hit through three innings. But it added seven in the fourth and scored eight times despite missing a sacrifice try and having another runner picked off.
Singles by Jamieson, Landon Harris and Josh Kelsey began the frame with Harris caught rounding second too far on the Kelsey safety.
But a walk filled the bases and Nick Lee emptied them with a blast over the center fielder's head.
He scored on Biehn's one-bagger. Garrison Harris followed with a single and an error on Joel Conway's topper refilled the sacks.
Jamieson's walk forced in one and ended Larson's stay. Landon Harris greeted reliever Cody Conners with a three-run double to complete the frame.
Thief River added an unearned run in the fifth on three errors and another in the sixth when Fossen left after yielding three singles around a hit batter.
Jamieson came on to quell the rally with a strikeout, pop up and fly to center.
The Ox gave him another run in the sixth on an error, single, another error and sacrifice fly. Conway, Landon Harris and Kelsey all had two hits in the 10-hit attack.
Thief River Falls 0 00 200 1 - 3 5 2
Blue Ox (10)01 000 x - 11 12 0
Engesser, Lillianthal (1), Conners (4) and Keefe
G. Harris (2-0) and Jacobson
Thief River Falls 000 111 0 - 3 6 3
Blue Ox 000 801 x - 9 10 4
Larson, Conner (4) and Keefe
Fossen (1-2), Jamieson (6) and C. Conway