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Blue Ox run ends just short of state tournament

ADA -- The Bemidji Blue Ox amateur baseball team fell just short of making the Minnesota Class C state tournament.

The Blue Ox, playing in the losers' bracket at the Region 10C tournament in Ada, couldn't contain the Moorhead offense and fell to the Bulldogs 9-2.

The loss eliminates the Blue Ox from playoff contention; meanwhile Moorhead will join Roseau as Region 10C's representatives Aug. 15-18 in Maple Lake and Delano.

Saturday's game began as a pitchers duel. Both hurlers -- Bemidji's Ryan Sander and Moorhead's Andrew Herian -- made quick work of their opponents in the first four innings of the game.

In the fifth, the offenses came alive.

The Blue Ox scored twice in the top of the fifth thanks to a pair of Moorhead errors with the bases loaded, scoring Sander and Shawn Whiting.

Bemidji took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth but didn't hold onto it for long.

In Moorhead's half of the fifth the Bulldogs scored four runs, including two on Dylan Deavy's single then another two unearned runs on a Blue Ox error.

Bemidji never recovered after that. The Blue Ox would threaten in the sixth and ninth innings but couldn't score again.

Meanwhile, Moorhead scored again in every inning after the fifth, including a solo home run from John Cahill in the sixth inning.

Sander took the loss for the Blue Ox, pitching seven innings and giving up eight runs -- four earned -- on 13 hits. He didn't walk any batters and struck out six.

Matt Schnieder threw an inning of relief and gave up one run on three hits.

Andrew Herian got the win for Moorhead, giving up two runs -- both unearned -- on four hits through 5 â..." innings.

Bryce Venaas, Connor Robley and Justin Beach threw in relief for Moorhead.

Three Blue Ox batters had two hits, including Sander, Matt Biaer and Joel Conway. Chris Conway and Aaron Nissen also singled.

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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