After eight straight road games the Bemidji Blue Ox makes its home debut today, hosting the Cass Lake Reds in a nine-inning game at 6 p.m. at the BSU diamond.
Bemidji's Class C amateur team brings a 2-6 record into play after going 1-2 at the Hibbing Invitational this weekend, beating the Grand Rapids Indians after losses to Hibbing's Miners and Cannon Falls, all Class B opponents.
It is the first of two games with the Reds who will play here again July 8. They are back on the diamond after a brief absence last year.
At Hibbing, Bemidji lost a mound gem to the Miners 1-0 Friday night in the opening game.
Matt Fossen pitched a five-hitter to go the route.
But he was outdueled by Matt Erickson of the Miners who carried a no-hitter into the seventh before yielding a single to Joel Conway. Erickson fanned 12 and walked three with a pair of back-to-back walks with two gone in the third posing the only Blue Ox threat.
Singles by Jake Laforeto and Mike Moberly and Ben Paulte's double opened the Miners' fourth to plate the only run. Fossen stranded the latter two runners on a pop up and two ground outs. He struck out six and walked three in dropping his second decision.,
In his two starts, the Blue Ox has scored one run.
Hits were more frequent in Saturday's 13-6 loss to Cannon Falls.
The winners opened with five in the first and closed with six in the seventh to widen a 7-6 lead.
A hit batter, walk and four hits by the first six batters sent home the five in the first.
An error, walk, Jesse Jacobson's double and Nick Lee's single got two back in the Blue Ox second.
Cannon Falls scored in the third and fourth to lead 7-2.
But the Ox rebounded with four in the fifth on an error, Chris Conway's single, a double by Landon Harris and one-baggers from Duane Biehn and Jesse Jacobson.
But they went down in order in the final two frames.
Two walks, a hit batter and four hits cemented the win in the big seventh.
There was more good hurling Sunday as the Ox upended Grand Rapids 6-3.
Biehn's double, a single by Bryan Jamison and two walks sent home a pair in the first. Two more crossed in the third on a walk and Landon Harris' home run .
The Rapids got one back in its third and came within 4-3 with a pair in the fourth.
Bemidji got this pair back in the fifth on singles by Joel Conway and Luke Burns around a pair of free passes.
Jamison then shut down the Indians in the final three frames, working around two sixth-inning walks aided by a double-play.
The win squared his record at 1-1.
Blue Ox 000 000 0 - 0 1 1
Hibbing 000 100 x - 1 5 1
Fossen (0-2) and Jacobson
Erickson and Moberly
Cannon Falls 510 100 6 - 13 9 2
Blue Ox 020-040 0 - 6 7 0
Blue Ox 202 020 0 - 6 7 0
Grand Rapids 001 200 0 - 3 5 0
Jamison (1-1) and Burns
Kuberka and Berg