Improving Legion sweeps Perham
The Bemidji American Legion continued its late season improvement Monday, sweeping Perham 6-2 and 9-2 at the BSU diamond.
It lifted Mike Fogelson's forces to 10-12 on the year going 8-2 in its last 10 games.
Tonight it faces a key North Sub-District twin bill with Brainerd, both teams bringing 6-8 records into their final twin bill.
To the winner will go third place in the final standings and allow the team to skip the play in game with Park Rapids. Little Falls and Nisswa will gain the top two seeds.
Bemidji received two fine mound efforts from Josh Kane and Chad Head Monday and took full advantage of loose Perham defense that gave the Legion three unearned runs in the opener and seven in the nightcap.
Kane gave up hits to the first three batters he faced to trail 1-0 at the start.
But Perham managed only five more the rest of the game, scoring an unearned run in the sixth on a two out error.
Bemidji wrapped up the game early, scoring five times in the second.
Two errors around a walk filled the bases with no outs. Kane doubled home two. Bill Statton singled home a third and a fourth crossed as Nick Lee's bunt went for a hit when no one covered first.
The fifth run crossed on Tyler Follis' sacrifice fly.
Shane Miller then shut down Bemidji through the next three frames none hit. But Bemidji added a final run in the sixth when Lee and Jeremiah Graves singled and Follis hit another sacrifice fly.
Rutledge and Lee had two hits in the seven hit Bemidji attack. Miller, Gavin Biegler and Anthony Ruther all had two for Perham.
Kane fanned seven and walked two in getting his third win of the summer.
Game 2 followed a similar pattern with Bemidji snapping a 2-2 tie with four unearned runs in the third and adding three more before the game ended.
Head survived a second inning jam that yielded two runs to retire 15 of the final 17 batters he faced. He fanned two and walked only one in getting his second win.
Bemidji opened with two in the first on a walk and two-out hits by Anderson and Hietala, Hietala's driving in both runs.
But Perham converted a single, triple and single into two quick runs in the second to tie the score.
After that it managed only three more base runners, two hits and a walk, all in separate innings.
Bemidji went ahead to stay in the third.
Graves doubled and Follis reached on an error. Rutledge's single plated Graves and Anderson's ground out sent home a second run.
A third crossed as Hietala reached on another boot and Kane's dingle made it 6-2.
In the fourth, a walk, hit batter and error filled the bases and Hietala singled in a run.
In the sixth, singles by Follis, Rutledge and Anderson filled the bases with no outs. Hietala popped to the pitcher but one run crossed when the ball was thrown past first trying for a double play. The final tally scored as Kane reached on another misplay.
Rutledge, Anderson and Hietala all had two hits for Bemidji which had 10 in the game. Perham's five came from as many different bats.
Andrew Muer, who worked the first three frames, got the loss.
Anderson and Graves will get the mound starts tonight. The Legion then heads to the Twin Cities for the giant Gopher Classic starting Friday night.