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AMATEUR BASEBALL: Reds beat Blue Ox 18-1 in winners' bracket

Bemidji Blue Ox pitcher Aaron Nissen tosses a pitch in the sixth inning during Bemidji's amateur baseball game against Walker Saturday afternoon at BSU. Bemidji topped Walker 9-6 before falling to the Cass Lake Reda 18-1 in five innings. JACK HITTINGER | BEMIDJI PIONEER

BEMIDJI -- The Cass Lake Reds jumped off to a great start on the first day of Lake and Pine Northeast conference playoff action.

The second-seeded Reds were scheduled to play the No. 3 seed Nevis North Stars in the first game of the playoffs Saturday at Bemidji State. But Nevis didn't have enough players and was forced to forfeit, giving the rested Reds a virtual bye into the winners' bracket.

The Reds took advantage of their opportunity, routing the top-seeded Bemidji Blue Ox 18-1 in five innings in their winners' bracket game.

The Blue Ox had defeated the No. 4 seed Leech Lake Walleyes 9-6 in the first game of the afternoon behind a complete game pitching performance from Aaron Nissen.

The double-elimination tournament continues next Saturday at BSU.

Leech Lake and Nevis will play at noon Saturday and the winner will advance to take on the Blue Ox at 3 p.m.

Whichever team survives the losers' bracket will play the Cass Lake Reds at 6 p.m. in the conference title game.