Mudcats win fifth Rosco title
The Bemidji Mudcats returned to the throne of the 9th annual Rosco Invitational Tournament Sunday, beating Ada's A's 8-0 in the title game.
The Blue Ox took third place with a 1-0 decision over Wadena's Shockers.
The title was the fifth for the Mudcats in their own meet, returning to the top after a one year absence,
The defending champion Ft. Ripley Rebels finished seventh with a 5-4 win over Nimrod. Dent took fifth place 5-4 over Roseau
Earlier consolation play found Roseau beating Nimrod 12-2 and Dent stopping Ft. Ripley 5-4,
Pitching was the name of the game at BSU.
Tyler Norland made his second appearance of the season for the Mudcats and hurled a five hitter in a route going performance.
He was far from mid season form, allowing base runners in every inning. But he was strong in the clutch with only one advancing past second base. He ended with three strikeouts and four walks.
The only serious threat came in the second when two walks and a sacrifice placed runners at second and third with one gone.
But he avoided a score with a comebacker and strikeout. He allowed one runner aboard in each of the next five frames.
The Cats gave him the only run he would need in the third when Neil Huewe reached on an error with two gone, took third on Dan Nolan's one bagger off the shortstop's glove that rolled dead in short center field and scored on a one bagger by Ryan Sander.
Bemidji broke the game open against lefthander David Spies in the fifth.
Dan Bauer beat out a grounder to deep second base and Huewe looped a single over first.
Nolan's single to right filled the bases and a walk and Jeff Schaper's single each scored a run. Sam Anderson singled in two more for a 5-0 lead.
The final three crossed against reliever Kyle Nelson in the seventh when Nolan, Sander and Schaper singled for one.
Two more followed when Andrew Hengel's bouncer to third was thrown wildly trying for a force at second,
Bauer and Nolan ended with three hits and Sander and Schaper two in the 13-hit Bemidji attack.
The Cats played errorless defense. Aaron Cook had two of the five Ada safeties.
Nolan was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
The win lifted Bemidji to 11-4-1 The Cats play at the Nimrod Invitational this weekend opening Friday at 6 against the host Gnats.
The third place game was a similar contest though far closer.
Cody Gross won his first game of the year with a four hitter fanning one but issuing no walks.
He stranded runners in only three frames aided by a double play and was in serious trouble only once.
That came with two gone in the seventh when Jamie George looped a single to short center and Travis George gained a life on an error.
But he got Erik Blom to ground to third for the final out.
Travis George was equally tough, limiting the Ox to five hits. Two came in the sixth for the game's only run.
Justin Huether singled to left to open the frame and was at second two outs later when Sol Schneider looped a single over second to send him across..
Schneider reached third when Joel Conway's fly to short right was dropped but was stranded.
The five Oz hits came off as many different bats.
The win lifted Chris Conway's forces 4-6. They play at the Hibbing Invitational this weekend.