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Baseball: Bemidji Legion opens with Thief River

The Bemidji American Legion will try again today to open its 2009 season when it hosts Thief River Falls in a non-district twin bill at BSU starting at 5.

Tomorrow it faces its first district contests when it entertains defending champion Little Falls in two games at the same time and place

The Legion had its Monday opener with Park Rapids rained out and reset for June 17 at BSU.

Coach Mike Fogelson announced a change in the district standings this year.

For the past two seasons only the first game of each twin bill was counted in the standings with the thought that it would give teams an opportunity to play their reserves in the second game each time out.

Bemidji was among the teams that opposed that move feeling that it favored teams with less depth, especially in pitching.

In any event, both games will now count toward the final league standings.

Bemidji will enter the season with one of its youngest teams in several seasons.

Unlike last year when the Legion was bolstered by collegians Sam Saccoman, Andrew Hengel and Matt Fossen, this year's team has no post high school players and only four seniors.

Those are Simon Anderson, Billy Statton, Nick Lee and Derek Lofgren.

Josh Kane and Cold Rutledge will get the mound starts in today's non-league pair.

Anderson and Jeremiah Graves will go against Little Falls tomorrow.

Anderson is the only mound regular back from last summer.

But nine other team members are listed for mound duty with Graves, Tyler Tatro, Tyler Follis and Chad Head all seeing starting calls this spring with the Lumberjacks.

With Kane and Rutledge on the hill today, Statton will be behind the plate with Matt Hietala, Graves, Follis and Rutledge the likely infield starters and Lee, Anderson and Lofgren in the outfield.

Luke Burns provides backup support in the infield and Paul Voss behind the plate.

Fogelson plans to give all 13 players a start in one game or the other.

Last year Bemidji split its two games with Thief River and four with Little Falls.