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Bemidji VFW earns the split

Pitcher David Alstadt took the first baseman's toss to retire Cole Bardwell in the first inning of the opener in the VFW doubleheader with Perham. Perham won the opener 4-3 with Bemidji taking the nightcap 8-2. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

The Bemidji VFW took a major step forward this week dividing double headers with the league's top two teams.

It followed a split with Fergus Falls Wednesday by dividing a pair of Thursday contests with Perham.

It lifted Bemidji to 6-4 at the mid point of the season with10 games yet to play. Perham, the only other team with a known record, is 8-5.

Thursday, Bemidji rebounded from a 4-3 setback in the opener to trim Perham 8-2 in the nightcap.

The opener was a mound dual between David Alstadt of the visitors and Bemidji's Ernie Heifort.

Perham scored single runs in the first and third and added a pair of unearned tallies in the fourth that proved to be the difference.

Heifort left after six with a five hitter with Kris Berndt pitching a scoreless seventh.

Alstadt, however, was in firm control through six, limiting Bemidji to six hits but no runs.

But Zach Solheim singled and Jake Urban walked to open the seventh, bringing in T.J. Studer in relief.

He was greeted by a Mitch Hendricks single to load the bases and a run scored on a wild pitch.

Two more followed on Cole Bardwell's single before Studer got the final three outs, stranding Bardwell at second.

Bardwell, Matt Schneider and Solheim each had two hits for Bemidji. Perham's six came off as many different bats.

Bemidji never trailed in the nightcap as Perham coughed up three unearned runs in the first committing three errors, two on one play that scored all three runs.

The visitors got back in contention, however, scoring single runs in the second and third, the second run unearned.

But Bemidji matched those two with a pair in the fourth on a walk and two out hits by Urban and Hendricks.

Three more came against reliever Alex DeConcini in the sixth with two outs on hits by Urban and Hendricks, an error and Collin Leif''s double.

Hendricks had three hits for Bemidji and Urban two. Booster Russ worked the first six, spacing six hits. Ryan Stevens pitched a perfect seventh.

First Game

Perham 101-200-0---4--6--1

Bemidji 000-000-3---3--9--1

Alstadt (w), Studer (7) and Duffy

Second Game

Perham 011-000-0---2--6--5

Bemidji 300-203-X---8--9--2

Hoffman, DeConcini (6) and Duffy

Russ (1-0),.Stevens (7) and Leif

Wednesday split

On Wednesday, Bemidji butchered defending champion Fergus Falls 15-2 at Sagedahl before dropping the nightcap 4-2.

A nine run second inning overcame an early 2-0 deficit in the opener and Bemidji closed out the visitors in 4½ frames.

It pounded out 20 hits of the lone visitors hurler who went the distance.

Hendricks had four, Leif and Russ three and Berndt, Kevin Murphy, Solheim and Bardwell two. Russ's included a two-run homer in the second.

Schneider went the route on a four hitter for his first win of the year.

Bemidji led 2-0 after one frame in the nightcap but failed to score again.

The runs came on singles by Hendricks and Berndt and Russ' double.

But the home team gave back the two in the fifth on an error, walk, wild pitch and wild pickoff attempt that allowed both runners to score.

Two more followed in the seventh on two singles, a ground out and game-winning hit,

Bemidji out hit Fergus 11-5 wasting a fine mound effort by Murphy who went the route..

The Vets play at Fergus Tuesday in their next two games.

First Game

Fergus Falls 200-00--- 2-- 4--1

Bemidji 094-2x---15--20--0

Woods and Ricks

Schneider (1-1) and Leif

Second Game

Fergus Falls 000-020-2---4--5--0

Bemidji 200-000-0---2--11--4

Ricks and Toso

Murphy (1-1) and Leif