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Legion baseball: Bemidji drops game to Nisswa, weather interferes with second game

An overthrow at first base allowed Bemidji Legion's play Tyler Geerdes to advance to second during the first game of a doubleheader against Nisswa on Monday evening.

BEMIDJI -- A gusty wind that swirled seemingly in every direction affected play Monday night when the Bemidji Legion baseball team hosted Nisswa and in the opening game of the doubleheader the visitors took advantage of the breezy conditions to post a 7-4 victory.

There was a second game scheduled, but the two teams agreed to call it quits after just four innings of play -- not making it an official game, -- due to incoming weather, according to Bemidji's coach Nate Blumhagen.

The strong wind turned a Nisswa fly ball in the third inning of the first game into a 2-run double and the breeze helped a Nisswa shot to right-center in the fourth inning clear the screen for a solo home run. The swirling conditions also altered the flight of a high pop over the mound in the top of the seventh and when the ball eluded three Bemidji defenders Nisswa took advantage of the good fortune to score a pair of insurance runs.

Bemidji opened the scoring with a pair in the second inning. Tony Geerdes was hit by a pitch to begin the frame and he advanced to second when Matt Morgan lined to the infield and an ill-advised throw to first in an attempt to double off Geerdes sailed past first baseman Drew Sandes.

Ben Thompson followed with an RBI single to right and Seth Anderson bunted him to second. Thompson scored when a throw to first on Dan Johnson's grounder sailed into right field and Erik Fitzgerald capped the rally with an RBI single to center.

Nisswa began its comeback in the top of the third off Bemidji starting pitcher Cody Anderson. T.J. Graumann opened the frame with a bunt single and two outs later Nate Dechaine walked. Both runners scored a few pitches later when Taylor Streiff's blast to center continued to drift over the head of Legion centerfield Collin Rutledge.

The visitors took the lead with three runs in the fourth. Hayden Bukowski's double to the fence in left-center opened the inning and he gained third on Dillon Solid's single to right. Evan Brecht bounced into a double-play but Bukowski scored on the play to tie the game.

Graumann continued the inning with a blast which left the park in right-center and a single, stolen base and RBI single by Sandes combined for the inning's third run and a 5-3 lead.

The Legion closed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth when Rutledge tripled and Ryan Hirt plated him with a sacrifice fly to center.

Nisswa, however, answered with a pair in the seventh and sparking the rally was Dechaine's pop fly over the mound which Bemidji failed to catch. Dechaine was forced at second but Logan Jones' single, a ground ball and a throwing error opened the door for the two runs.

Cody Anderson took the pitching loss for Bemidji. Tom Revering worked the final 3.1 innings.

Bemidji's offense managed only four hits and Rutledge's triple was the lone extra base hit.

First Game

Nisswa 002 300 2 - 7 12 3

Bemidji 030 010 0 - 4 4 1

Graumann (W), Solid (6, S) and Dechaine. K-4, BB-3

C.Anderson (L), Revering (4) and Morgan. K-2, BB-3

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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