Mudcats split two with Brainerd
The Bemidji Mudcats rebounded from a disastrous opener Wednesday night to defeat the Brainerd Bees in the nightcap and salvage a split of its doubleheader at BSU.
Brainerd scored eight runs in the final two frames, only three earned, to take the first game 8-6. Bemidji won the second 5-3.
It lifted the Cats to 19-15 and left the Bees at 11--7-1.
Brainerd won the season series 3-1, sweeping the pair on its home diamond by identical 6-3 scores.
The first game was a Bemidji gift.
Lefty Matt Stasch carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth when the Mudcats coughed up three runs, one earned, on a pair of errors and two singles.
Bemidji got the lead back in the last of the frame when Doug Peterson launched a grand slam over the left field fence.
But a tired Stasch, who was already over the 100-pitch count, was sent back out for the seventh.
He got one out, then yielded a pair of singles.
The key play of the game followed when he fielded Craig McCluney's comebacker and with a game-ending doubleplay in sight, threw the ball into center field.
That scored one run and left runners at first and third.
Jaron Hanson's blooper over second plated another and after a walk filled the bases, Andrew Hengel was called on in relief.
He got Paul Skogen to hit another possible doubleplay ball to short which was bobbled as the tying run crossed.
After a squeeze play backfired for the second out, Gopher recruit Kyle Crocker singled to score two more.
Bemidji had scored twice in the third off Chris Smolke when Hengel and Brent Magnuson singled and Brad Johnson cashed both with a double to the right-center field wall.
Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, Johnson and Jeff Schaper singled and Tony Klaers was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.
Peterson promptly unloaded them with his four-run blast.
Ex-Blue Ox player Smolke to start the seventh and worked around singles by Simon Anderson and Johnson to end the game.
Brainerd had 12 hits, four by Huether. Hanson added three and Crocker and Smolke two.
Johnson had three for theMudcats with Schaper and Peterson adding two.
Stasch dropped to 2-3.
Bemidji again took charge early in the nightcap but this time made the lead stand.
It scored twice in the second off Joel Martin on hits by Brian Murphy and Anderson, Anderson knocking in both runs.
Another crossed in the third when Johnson doubled and scored on Brian Murphy's sacrifice fly.
Two more scored in the fourth when Hengel doubled but held up and only reached third on Anderson's double that eluded a diving left fielder at the final second.
Magnuson was hit to load the bases.
Klaers walked to force home one run and Peterson's force-out plated the second.
That came when his blooper over second dropped among three Bees players. But Klaers, who had to hold up on the play, was forced at second.
Young Kevin Murphy carried a two-hit shutout into the sixth when four singles produced two runs.
Learning from its first game mistake, the Cats brought Paul Fenner in to hurl the seventh.
He retired the first two batters but walked the next two and a run scored on another error, the seventh of the night, before the final out was recorded
Bemidji had nine hits, three by Anderson and two each by Brian Murphy and Hengel. Brainerd's six came off as many different bats
Murphy's win was his second in as many starts.
Brainerd Bees 000 003 5 - 8 12 0
Mudcats 002 004 0 - 6 10 5
Smolke, H(7) and McCluney
Stasch (2-3), Hengel (7) and Clark
Brainerd Bees 000-002 1 - 3 6 1
Mudcats 021 200 x - 5 9 2
Martin , Peterson (7) and McCluney
K. Murphy (2-0), Fenner (sv) (7) and Statton