Alexandria sweeps Jacks in high-scoring games
Alexandria scored early and often Friday and swept the Bemidji baseball team 15-12 and 10-9 in Alexandria.
BHS (3-4) staged dramatic comebacks in each game, scoring eight consecutive runs in the opener and rallying with three in the seventh inning of the nightcap.
But each rally fell just short.
The Cardinals opened their afternoon with five runs in the first inning of the opener and they continued that trend in the rematch, bolting to a 4-1 lead after the first inning and expanding the cushion to 7-2 after two stanzas.
Dalton Leuschke was the main thorn in Bemidji's side as the senior had a home run, triple and single in the opener and ripped two home runs and a single in the nightcap. In the two games he collected nine RBI.
A strong breeze blowing toward the outfield helped the teams blast eight home runs in the twinbill. Among them were solo shots in the first and second innings of the second game by Collin Leif and Zach Solheim.
Those blasts, however, were offset by Leuschke who belted a 3-run shot in the first frame and a 2-run round-tripper in the second. Leuschke's offense helped Alexandria forge a 7-2 lead heading into the upper third but Bemidji narrowed its gap to 7-4 in the third on singles by Mitchell Hendricks, Tyler Follis and Cody Rutledge and a groundout.
The home team responded with two in the fourth on a walk, singles by Leuschke and Gideon Burnham, a double steal and an error.
The teams traded single runs in the fifth and the Lumberjacks scored four in the top of the seventh to close within one run.
Mason Bellew began the frame with a walk. He then stole second and scored following an infield error.
Sam Dwyer kept the comeback bid alive with a single and Hendricks' single loaded the bases.
Leif promptly unloaded them with a 3-run double to right. But the Jacks were unable to get that last hit which would plate pinch-runner Dom Hayle and Alexandria completed its sweep.
Leif contributed a home run, double and four RBI while Jenkins added a pair of singles.
Ryan Stevens lasted only 1.1 innings on the Jacks mound. Jeremiah Graves relieved in the second and went the rest of the way.
A shaky defense gave Alexandria five runs in the first inning of Friday's opener and Bemidji's late comeback came up a few runs short of success as the home team hung on for a 15-12 victory.
Alexandria transformed three hits, three errors and a hit batter into five first-inning runs but the Lumberjacks answered with three in the upper second.
Walks to Bellew and Solheim set the table for a 3-run round-tripper to left by Jenkins.
The Cardinals continued to attack and a 3-run home run by Alex Anderson gave the home team an 8-3 cushion.
Alexandria seemed to have the victory well in hand after four runs in the third and three in the fourth gave it a 15-4 lead heading into the upper fifth.
But the Cardinals' pitching staff was unable to find the plate in the fifth and six walks, a hit batter, singles by Leif and Follis and Leif's double combined for seven runs and brought the Jacks within 15-11.
The Lumberjacks closed the gap to 15-12 in the sixth when Solheim walked and Sam Dwyer tripled. BHS also threatened in the seventh when Mitchell Hendricks doubled, gained third on a groundout and Follis and Bellew walked, the latter loading the bases with two outs.
Bemidji was unable to get the key hit, however, as a groundball ended the game.
Leif finished with a double and three singles but he was the lone Lumberjack with more than one hit.
Solheim started on the mound and was the losing pitcher. Kris Berndt tossed 1.1 innings and Graves finished.
Bemidji 030 171 0 - 12 8 4
Alexandria 534 300 x - 15 12 1
Solheim (L), Berndt (3), Graves (4) and Leif. K-5, BB-4
Hirsch (W), Billberg (4), Murphy (4), Carlson (4) and Beireis. K-6, BB-14
Bemidji 112 010 4 - 9 11 3
Alexandria 430 210 x - 10 9 3
Stevens (L), Graves (2) and Leif. K-4, BB-3
Serum (W), Rice (7), Lueschke (7) (S) and Domine. K-5, BB-5