Mudcats topple Nashwauk 7-4
The struggling Bemidji Mudcats recorded their first Arrowhead League win of the season Wednesday night, rallying in the late innings to turn back Nashwauk 7-4 at BSU.
It lifted the Mudcats to 1-4 in the league and 5-11 overall.
It reversed an earlier 10-1 loss at Nashwauk.
Duluth leads the circuit at 7-0 in games reported this summer. Bemidji can make up ground quickly when it travels to Duluth for a Saturday twinbill and follows with another Sunday at Hibbing.
Duluth swept its pair here 3-1 and 2-1 in June.
Wednesday's game was a mound duel through the early stages between Nashwauk's Zach DiIorio and Bemidji southpaw Matt Stasch.
Nashwauk scored in the first and overcame a 2-1 Bemidji lead with three in the fourth.
But Stasch and reliever Ryan Guy held the visitors scoreless the rest of the way and were rewarded when the Cats ran home five in the seventh to win.
Stasch, who allowed only three hits in his five innings of work, was bothered by wildness, issuing seven free passes in that span.
Two came to open the game and catcher Joe Bagdanovich singled home a run. Another free pass refilled the sacks before the final out was recorded.
DiIorio held Bemidji to one hit through the first four frames but it was good enough to lead to two runs in the third.
Matt Hietala got that with one gone in the frame. He reached third as Dylan Webb reached on a two-base throwing error and scored on Kevin Murphy's sacrifice fly.
Webb took third on that play and scored on a wild pitch.
Stasch worked out of trouble in the second, third and fourth. But in the fifth, two walks and Jamie Fillmore's single filled the bases with no outs.
One run crossed on a wild pitch, a second on Jeff Clusiau's ground out and a third on the front end of a double steal.
Guy came on to pitch the sixth and worked around four hits the final four frames by walking none.
Bemidji wasted two singles in the fifth and left the bases loaded in the sixth before breaking the game open.
Sam Martire walked to open the seventh and DiIorio made way for veteran Fillmore.
He turned a comebacker into a force at second but walked the bases full and Brent Magnuson's single tied the score 4-4,
Both runners advanced on the throw home and scored on Neil Huewe's single to left. After another free pass Clusiau replaced Fillmore. Brian Murphy singled in the seventh run before he retired the side.
He worked around two hits in the eighth but allowed no further scoring.
Two singles opened the Nashwauk seventh but Guy retired the next three. A double play negated two singles in the eighth. Nashwauk went down in order in the ninth.
Bemidji ended with nine hits with Hietala the only player with two.
DiIorio, Bagdanovich and Fillmore each had two for Nashwauk. The two Bemidji hurlers fanned 10 and walked seven.
The three Nashwauk pitchers had four strikeouts and seven walks.
"We're ready for the weekend challenge," said Huewe. We have our whole mound staff set with Doug Peterson, Kaleb Dingman, Martire, the Murphy brothers, Kevin and Brian, and Stasch set to go."
Bemidji and Hibbing will be meeting for the first time.
Nashwauk 100 030 000 - 4 7 2
Mudcats 002 000 50x - 7 9 2
DiIorio, Fillmore (L) (7). J. Clusiau (7) and Bagdanovich
Stasch, Guy (1-0) (6) and Edholm
He Mudcats went 1-2 at the recent Nimrod Invitational, beating Roseau between setbacks to Young America and host Nimrod.
Young America took the opening game 2-0 with Huewe and Peterson getting the only hits.
Martire was the losing hurler in the mound duel.
Bemidji then blanked Roseau 4-0 with Huewe getting two hits and Webb scoring three runs. Peterson went the distance to get the win.
In the fifth-place game, Nimrod prevailed 9-6. Kevin Murphy took the loss.
The weekend series at Brainerd last weekend was called off by both teams involved for lack of pitching.
The Cats were to have played at Nisswa Friday night and faced the Brainerd Bees in a Saturday twinbill.
Those games will not be rescheduled.