Mudcats clinch city championship
The Bemidji Mudcats wrapped up another city title Friday night, beating the Blue Ox 15-5 before a good turnout at the BSU diamond.
It was the second win in as many starts for the Cats in their best-of-three series.
The third game is set for July 2.
Friday's win came far easier than the 3-2 decision in the opening game.
The Cats staged two five-run innings in the third and fifth to put the game out of reach building a 12-0 lead at that point.
The Blue Ox prevented an early end to the contest by scoring twice in the fifth and sixth with the winners going into the ninth before re-establishing the 10-run cushion.
The losers were not without their chances, however, putting runners on base in every inning but stranding 15 on the night.
Brian Murphy worked the first six, giving up four runs and seven hits and walking five.
A.J. Johnson finished, yielding the final run and walking four.
Matt Fossen got through the batting order once, yielding only an unearned run in the first.
But the Cats began timing his offspeed deliveries the second time around, pounding out seven hits in the third, six in succession, to up the margin to 6-0.
Andrew Hengel, Simon Anderson, Brent Magnuson, Dan Nolan, Kyle Figgins and Jeff Schaper all hit singles, three of which never left the infield.
Two outs later, Jon Clark added the seventh.
Magnuson doubled and scored on Nolan's one bagger in the fourth.
Five more came home in the fifth with singles by Neil Huewe, Magnuson and Figgins the only hits around two walks and two errors with Brian Jamieson coming in to get the final out.
Landon Harris worked the last three, giving up two runs in the seventh on Anderson's double and singles by Schaper and Kevin Murphy and another in the ninth on two walks and Kevin Murphy's single.
Brian Murphy stranded eight runners through the first four frames but took a shutout into the fifth.
Then a hit batter with two outs was followed by Joel Conway's double and a single by Duane Beihn for two runs.
Two more followed in the sixth on two walks and Jamieson's single, the first crossing on a wild pitch.
A.J. Johnson relieved in the seventh and stranded five more on base, giving up a run in the seventh on an error and three walks.
Magnuson led the 19-hit Mudcats assault with four. Anderson, Nolan, Figgins, Schaper, Kevin Murphy and Hengel all had two.
Jamieson, Joel Conway and Ryan Sullivan all had two for the Ox.
They play at Nashwauk Monday and travel south to meet Brainerd's Bees and Nisswa in Saturday and Sunday twin bills.
The Blue Ox takes a 1-6 mark into today's Northwest Border double header with Roseau with Sam Saccoman and Cody Gross the listed starters.
Mudcats 105-150-201 --15--19--2
Blue Ox 000-022-100 --- 5 --9--4
B. Murphy (2-0). A.J. Johnson (7) and Clark
Fossen (0-2), Jamieson (5), Harris (7) and C. Conway, Jacobson (9)