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Legion baseball: Bemidji wins opener at Gopher Classic

MINNETONKA — Connor McNallan and Thomas Revering combined to toss a five-hitter and Seth Anderson pounded three singles to lead the Bemidji Legion baseball team to a 6-1 victory over Tri City in Friday’s opening round of the Gopher Classic’s Excelsior bracket.

“This is one of the top tournaments in the country and we knew that our pitchers had to throw strikes and the bats needed to be hot,” said Bemidji coach Nate Blumhagen. “And we did those things Friday.”

McNallan worked the first three innings and was staked to a 6-0 lead after two frames. Revering inherited the 6-0 cushion when he relieved to start the fourth inning and he preserved the victory by allowing only one run in his four innings of work.

Revering also jump started the offense with a single in the bottom of the first. After Collin Rutledge reached on an error, Ryan Hirt’s single plated Revering. McNallan walked to load the bases and Rutledge scored courtesy of Tony Geerdes’ ground ball. Hirt scored Bemidji’s third run of the stanza a few pitches later on a passed ball.

The Legion added three insurance runs in the lower second when Seth Anderson singled, Dan Johnson was safe because of an error, James Hendricks belted a two-run triple and Revering singled home Hendricks.

“We played well and built momentum for Saturday’s games,” Blumhagen said. “And with Collin pitching only three innings, we have our top three pitchers ready to go Saturday and Sunday.”

Today’s schedule sees Bemidji battling Huron (S.D.) at 5 p.m. and Excelsior at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday the Legion will square off with Plymouth (Indiana) at 9 a.m. and Rochester at 2 p.m.

The top finisher from the pool will advance to Monday’s opening round of a 16-team, single-elimination tourney which features the winners of the Gopher Classic’s 16 pools.

Friday’s other Excelsior pool games saw Excelsior defeat Huron 2-0 and Huron down Tri City 3-0. In the late games Plymouth faced Rochester and Excelsior.

Gopher Classic

Tri-City 000 100 0 - 1 5 3

Bemidji 330 000 x - 6 7 1

Kroening (L) and Bernardy. K-2, BB-2

McNallan (W), Revering (4, S) and Revering, Morgan. K-7, BB-1

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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