Legion loses sub-district opener
If the Bemidji Legion baseball team is to qualify for the district tournament it will have to do so by going through the loser's bracket.
Tuesday in the opening-round of sub-district play at Brainerd the Legion lost 2-1 to Nisswa. The setback bounced Bemidji into the loser's bracket and Tuesday's late elimination contest against the loser of Tuesday afternoon's game between Brainerd and Little Falls.
The loser of that game was eliminated while the winner survived and will play at 3 p.m. today in another elimination game.
"It was a great pitcher's duel," Legion coach Mike Fogelson said of Tuesday's 2-1 loss. "Zach (Solheim) pitched very well but the offense could get him only one run.
"Nisswa's defense also played very well and turned a couple of double-plays that made a huge difference."
Among the twin-killings was a crucial play in the top of the eighth.
With one out Cody Rutledge doubled and gained third when Mason Bellew singled. Tyler Tatro followed with a shot up the middle but the second baseman snared the grounder headed to centerfield and began a 4-6-3 double-play which ended the inning.
Bemidji scored its lone run in the opening stanza when Mitch Hendricks singled, Collin Leif sacrificed and Bellew singled.
The Legion threatened in four other innings but stranded rurnners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth frames.
Solheim kept Nisswa at bay until the eighth when the No. 2 seed tied the game as Kyle Crocker singled home Craig McCluney who had singled and gained second on a sacrifice bunt.
Nisswa scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a double by Adam Tauges and McCluney's walk-off single.
Bemidji 100 000 000 - 1 8 0
Nisswa 000 000 011 - 2 8 3
Solheim (L) and Leif. K-8, BB-3
Flanagan (IW) and McCluney. K-4, BB-1