Legion baseball: Bemidji opens tournament play Wednesday
The Bemidji American Legion will begin tournament play Wednesday at Nisswa, facing the host team in the second game of a triple header.
Brainerd and Park Rapids will play the noon opener in a loser-out contest.
Bemidji and Nisswa match forces at 3 while the Brainerd-Park Rapids winner journeys to Little Falls to face the top seed.
The loser of that contest will return to Nisswa to face the Bemidji-Nisswa loser in the final game.
Play resumes Thursday with the two unbeaten teams squaring off in the opener with the winner assured a district berth .
The loser of that game will take on the winner of Wednesday's final game for the second district berth.
Simon Anderson will get the starting call against Nisswa after being held out of the Gopher Classic this weekend.
Without him, Bemidji went 1-4 beating Chaska 9-3 in its final game. That left the team at 13-16 in regular-season play.
Billy Statton went the route spacing nine hits while fanning four and walking three.Bemidji made his task easier by scoring five times in the second and four in the third to take a 9-3 lead which it maintained the rest of the game.
Two walks, a passed ball and error scored the first run. A walk refilled the bases and Anderson singled in two more. After a Statton single, Tyler Tatro knocked in the final runs with another single.
In the fourth, hits by Tyler Follis and Anderson produced one run, a walk and Paul Voss' hit sent in another, a third scored on an error and fourth on a ground out.
Bemidji had a tournament best 11 hits with Anderson getting three and Jeremiah Graves and Tatro two.
Earlier Sunday the shoe was on the other foot as Kenosha, Wis. scored six times in the second and cruised to a 9-4 win.
Chad Head went the distance allowing seven hits with only four runs earned.
Bemidji led briefly, scoring in the first on hits by Follis and Statton around a walk.
The pool champions got that back in the last of the frame and combined three hits with two walks and two errors to send in six in the second, The final two came on a homer by winning pitcher Derek Binninger.
Bemidji scored in the sixth on a walk, single and error which Kenosha matched in the last of the frame.
Two more crossed in the seventh on Follis' double, an error and single by Tatro. Bemidji had eight hits, two by Follis
On Saturday Bemidji managed only one run in falling to the St. Louis Johnny Mac 6-1 and West St .Pau l3-0.
Bemidji led the St. Louis team 1-0 in the third, scoring on hits by Statton, Graves and Follis.
But the Johnny Macs got this one back in the fifth and wrapped it up with five in the sixth on a walk and four hits.
They had eight hits in all against Follis who went the route fanning two and walking one.
Bemidji also had eight with Statton getting three.
Bemidji had only seven against West St. Paul but was unable to score, stranding eight.;
Josh Kane turned in another strong effort. Allowing only three hits.
Two came in the first around a walk to produce two runs. The third followed a walk in the third to produce the third. Cody Rutledge had two for Bemidji, the only player with more than one.
Bemidji played Sunday's final without Rutledge who left to attend a funeral. It played the weekend without Matt Htala who is on a family vacation and not expected back this week.
Rutledge and Graves figure to pitch the second and third games in the tournament.