Mudcats stay alive with Grand Rapids sweep
Bemidji's Mudcats kept their flickering playoff hopes alive Sunday, sweeping a doubleheader at Grand Rapids 5-4 and 4-1.
It lifted the Cats to 5-7 in Arrowhead League play with four games remaining. Two will come Saturday at unbeaten Duluth and two at home Sunday with Nashwauk.
Grand Rapids sank to 5-7 and has two games left with Duluth and Hibbing. Hibbing was 4-6 at last report and Nashwauk 6-6 with single games to play with Duluth and Hibbing and the two at Bemidji.
Doug Peterson, who came on in relief to take the opener, worked the distance in the nightcap, pitching a three-hitter with six strikeouts and four walks.
It lifted his record to 4-1.
Most of the first-game scoring came in the late innings.
Bemidji led 1-0 at the start when Dylan Webb singled and scored on Brent Magnuson's squeeze bunt.
The Indians tied it in the fourth on singles by Billy Shaw and Josh Cleveland plus a sacrifice fly.
The Cats took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on singles by Matt Hietala and Webb, Magnuson's double and two errors.
The Rapids drew to 3-2 in the sixth on a walk, Cleveland's single and a force out.
Each team scored in the seventh, Bemidji on Webb's double.
The Rapids countered with two to knot the score at 4-4. Two walks and Reed Bender's double brought in Peterson to get the final two outs.
Bemidji won in the first extra-inning when Derek Edholm singled, Neil Huewe was hit by a pitch and Kevin Murphy singled to load the bases with one gone. Dan Bennett squeezed in Edholm.
Peterson allowed a single and walk to open the last of the frame but retired the next three on a comebacker, strikeout and pop to the mound to end the game.
Webb had two of the seven Bemidji hits. Shaw had two of the Rapids' nine.
Matt Stasch worked the first four with Kevin Murphy and Jeremiah Graves working in relief, Graves making his season debut.
Peterson was air-tight in the nightcap after allowing a first-inning run on a two-out walk, stolen base and Kyle Figgins' single.
He stranded runners at second and third in the second and was never seriously threatened again.
Bemidji tied the game in the second on two walks and two hit batters and took the lead in the third on another hit batter, walk and error.
It became 3-1 in the fourth on a walk and Peterson's double and 4-1 in the seventh on singles by Graves and Hietala and Stasch's double.
Bemidji had just six hits, two by Peterson. Figgins had two of the Rapids' three.
Bender went the route to take the loss fanning six and walking four.
Grand Rapids 000-101-20---4--9--5
Stasch, K. Murphy (5), Graves (5), Peterson (3-1) (7) and Bennett
Cournoyer, Graupman (L) (5), Shaw (8) and Giesinger
Grand Rapids 100-000-0---1--3--2
Peterson (4-1) and Edholm
Bender and Shaw