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Busy week for Bemidji VFW baseball

The final week of the VFW's regular season will be a busy one as the Vets play eight games in five days. The streak begins today when Bemidji entertains Detroit Lakes in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.

Wednesday finds the Vets at East Grand Forks for a pair and Thursday they will close their home slate with a twinbill against Fergus Falls starting at 4 p.m.

The regular season will officially end Saturday with a doubleheader in Moorhead starting at noon.

Following Saturday's action Bemidji will be off until July 22 when it plays in the double-elimination district tournament, this year hosted by East Grand Forks.

Sunday the VFW split at Fargo, taking the opener 8-5 but dropping the nightcap 11-1. The split gave Bemidji a 14-4 overall record but the Vets are 12-0 against teams their own age.

Fargo played with athletes who would have been on a Legion team in Minnesota.

"Our main goal when we went to Fargo was to get better and see the type of competition we will see in the playoffs," said Bemidji coach Brad Johnson.

"In Sunday's first game we played very well against a very good team. We did the little things right. We had timely hitting and our pitchers threw strikes.

"But in the second game it was like they were the Minnesota Twins and we were the Lumberjacks. That loss knocked us down and brought us back to reality," Johnson added.

In Sunday's opener Bemidji trailed 3-2 after three innings but gained the lead with three in the fourth and added three insurance tallies in the seventh.

Nick Hovila singled and scored courtesy of three wild pitches in the opening stanza and Dom Hayle's single, a stolen base and Drew Peterson's sacrifice fly produced a run in the second.

Trailing 3-2 after three, Bemidji struck for three in the fourth and never looked back. Nick Connor doubled to begin the rally and, after Sam Dwyer walked, Cody Labernick singled home Connor. Hayle's groundout plated another run and Peterson followed with an RBI triple.

In the seventh Conner McNallan walked and singles by Billy Baumgartner, Mitch Buckanaga and Labernick completed the 3-run frame.

Hayle had a pair of singles while Connor belted a double and Peterson a triple.

The rematch was scoreless until the upper third when Hayle gave the VFW a 1-0 lead with a home run to right.

Fargo, however, answered with four in its half of the stanza and settled the issue with five in the fourth and two in the fifth.

The Vets are 12-0 against district foes and could assure a top-two seed and a first-round bye in the district tournament by winning half of this week's games. Their goal, however, is to capture the top seed.

Sunday's Results

Bemidji VFW 101 300 3 - 8 11 0

Fargo 210 002 0 - 5 6 0

Hovila, Peterson (3) (W) and Labernick. K-6, BB-3

Ekdom (L) and Hallock. K-3, BB-4

Bemidji VFW 001 00 - 1 4 1

Fargo 004 52 - 11 10 2

Labernick (L), McNallon (4) and Buckanaga. K-5, BB-6

Giffey (W) and Krabbenhoft. K-2, BB-3

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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