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Bemidji Legion splits regular season finale in doubleheader

PERHAM -- The Bemidji American Legion Post 14 baseball team split its final regular-season doubleheader Thursday.

The Legion lost the first game against Perham 1-0 despite a strong start from Collin Rutledge before rallying to win the second game 6-3.

In the opener, Bemidji's Nick Hovila kicked off the game with a leadoff single but that was the only thing Post 14 could muster. Perham pitching was perfect the rest of the game, allowing just one hit and zero walks in their 1-0 win.

Rutledge gave up just five hits but got no help from either his offense or his defense, as Perham's lone run in the bottom of the fourth was unearned.

In the second game, things went much better for Post 14.

Bemidji rattled off 10 hits and committed just one error in the 6-3 victory.

Post 14 took a 4-3 lead into the top of the seventh inning but scored two runs. Parker Lucas' triple scored Nick Hovila for one run then Mitch Buckanaga singled in Lucas later in the inning to give Bemidji a three-run cushion.

In the bottom of the ninth, Buckanaga came on in relief of Seth Anderson and got the save, but not after pitching into some trouble.

Buckanaga walked the first two batters he faced. Then, with runners on first and second, Perham got mixed up on the basepaths.

A Perham hitter singled but the lead runner was held up on third. The other baserunner didn't see the stop side and by the time the ball reached the infield Perham ended up with two runners on third. That meant the trailing runner was called out.

Buckanaga recovered from the jam by striking out the final two Perham hitters to earn the save and prevent any damage.

Seth Anderson picked up the win for Bemidji, going six innings and giving up three runs (two earned), walking six and striking out five.

Bemidji finishes the regular season with a 7-16 record. They'll play in the district tournament next week in Moorhead but their opponent is yet to be determined.

Game 1

Perham 1, Bemidji 0

Bemidji 000 000 0 -- 0 1 2

Perham 000 100 0 -- 1 5 2

Game 2

Bemidji 6, Perham 3

Bemidji 003 010 2 -- 6 10 1

Perham 110 001 0 -- 3 4 3

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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