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LEGION BASEBALL: Bemidji splits with Detroit Lakes

Bemidji Legion Post 14’s Tom Revering beats out an infield hit as Detroit Lakes first baseman Reed Johnson attempts to tag him during Tuesday night’s double header. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — The Legion baseball team survived a five-error performance in the first game of Tuesday’s home doubleheader against Detroit Lakes, but six errors in the rematch proved to be too huge of an obstacle as the teams split the twinbill.

The Legion squandered a 3-0 lead in the opener, but scored in the bottom of the sixth to post a 4-3 victory. In Tuesday’s nightcap, however, Bemidji gave Detroit Lakes three unearned runs and the visitors turned those gifts into a 10-7 win.

Tuesday’s split gave the Legion a 5-7 record. Its next action will be July 9 at East Grand Forks.

A pair of Detroit Lakes errors in the first inning of Tuesday’s opening game helped Bemidji take a 1-0 lead, and the Legion upped its advantage to 3-0 with two runs in the third.

Nick Hovila began the stanza with a walk and an error on Lucas Goins’ grounder, and Tyler Geerdes’ bunt advanced runners to second and third. Both runners promptly scored as Collin Rutledge was awarded a double when his fly ball to right was lost in the sun.

Rutledge also handled the pitching chores for the Legion and he maintained the shutout until his defense wilted in the top of the sixth. The inning included four Bemidji errors, a single and a walk which handed Detroit Lakes three runs and tied the score at 3-3.

The home team rallied in the bottom of the sixth, however, as a walk to Thomas Revering, a stolen base and Erik Fitzgerald’s single to left combined for the eventual game-winner.

Rutledge was the winning pitcher and he also paced the offense with a double and a single. Fitzgerald finished with a pair of singles.

Legion loses nightcap

Both teams were hampered by shoddy defense in the second game as Detroit Lakes had four errors and Bemidji six. Each team also made defensive mistakes that were not considered errors but which led to runs.

Detroit Lakes took charge with four runs in the second, and upped its lead to 6-1 with two more in the third.

The Legion drew within 6-4 with three in the bottom of the third and keying the rally were Hovila’s lead-off double, Goins’ single to center, Rutledge’s RBI single to right and Austin Weidemann’s 2-run single past the first baseman.

The momentum gained by the rally quickly faded, however, as Detroit Lakes scored three runs, including a pair of unearned tallies, in the top of the fourth.

Bemidji trimmed its deficit to 9-7 with three in the fifth. Geerdes opened the inning with a single and stole second. An out later Dan Johnson walked but was forced at second by Revering. Fitzgerald followed with an RBI single and Hovila capped the rally with a run-scoring double off the left-field screen.

Fitzgerald also scored on the play when Detroit Lakes botched the relay to the infield.

A pair of Legion errors in the seventh enabled the visitors to score an insurance tally and Detroit Lakes iced the win when pitcher Ryan Cihak retired Bemidji in order in the bottom of the frame.

Hovila cracked a pair of doubles and Goins had three singles.

Seth Anderson started on the mound and was the losing pitcher. Gabe Salander relieved in the fourth and went the rest of the way.

First Game

Detroit Lakes 000 003 0 – 3 3 4

Bemidji 102 001 x – 4 5 5

Johnson (L) and McLeod. K-6, BB-3

Rutledge (W) and Buckanaga. K-7, BB-5

Second Game

Detroit Lakes 042 300 1 – 10 11 4

Bemidji 013 030 0 - 7 11 6

Cihak (W) and McLeod. K-3, BB-1

Anderson (L), Salander (4) and Buckanaga. K-4, BB-5

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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