Mudcats stop Grand Rapids 3-1
The Bemidji Mudcats took another step forward in Arrowhead League play Wednesday night, stopping the Itasca Indians of Grand Rapids 3-1 at BSU.
It lifted the Mudcats to 5-0 in league play and dropped the Indians to 1-2. Overall Bemidji is 10-2.
The Cats will host the Blue Ox tonight at 7 in a non-league game and entertain the Duluth Xpress in a 1 p.m. twin bill Saturday.
The Xpress was 2-0 at last report but has likely played more games.
Paul Fenner, who hurled a one-hitter last week in a 3-2 win at Nashwauk, carried a no-hitter into the seventh Wednesday and settled for a four-hit win.
He fanned eight and walked none in a snappy 1:43 game.
Tyler Blomberg was almost as strong through four frames, allowing no hits.
But in the fifth, Doug Peterson tripled with one gone, a sinking line drive that just eluded center fielder Ryan Graupman's diving grasp.
Simon Anderson followed with a topper down the third base line that barely stayed fair in its 20 foot path, giving him a rare infield single as Peterson scored.
Andrew Hengel then hit a comebacker to the mound which Blomberg threw into center field as Anderson reached third.
He scored on Dan Bauer's sacrifice fly.
Tony Klaers then singled up the middle to score Hengel.
The Cats had one other threat with Bauer and Klaers getting back-to-back singles with two gone in the seventh. But Dan Nolan forced Klaers at second to end that threat.
Manager Jim Brubaker worked a scoreless eighth.
The pair struck out eight and walked three,
Grand Rapids ended the no-hitter and shutout in the seventh when Sam Sparen singled, stole second and scored on Jason Hron's one-bagger.
The Indians had singles in the eighth and ninth but stranded both runners at first.
Fenner reached 3-0 on the year.
Brian Murphy is a likely starter tonight with Peterson and Tyler Norland expected to be available for Saturday's twin bill. Norland has not pitched since the season opener at Nimrod.
If Norland is not available, Murphy will probably be saved for the Xpress.
The Cats shaded the Blue Ox 3-2 in their first meeting.
Grand Rapids 000 000 100 - 1 4 3
Mudcats 000 030 00x - 3 6 0
Blomberg (1-1) l, Brubaker (8) and Brubaker, Dorholt (8)
Fenner (3-0) and Klaers