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Bemidji baseball team beats Fergus Falls, loses to Brainerd in doubleheader

Bemidji's Mitch Hendricks reaches out and connects for a base hit during?Friday's game against Brainerd. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji baseball team defeated Fergus Falls 11-5 Friday night and followed that outcome with a 3-2 loss to Brainerd.

Originally, Friday's schedule was to feature only Bemidji against Fergus Falls but Brainerd and the Lumberjacks were both looking for games to replace early-season weather victims. When Brainerd was willing to make the trip north, the game was added to the docket.

In the opener Bemidji's bats were alive as the Jacks ripped 12 hits. Mason Bellew provided three of them as he blasted a pair of doubles and a single. Zach Solheim also had a hot bat as he drilled a pair of triples to the center field screen.

"It was fun to see the guys hit the ball all over the park," said BHS coach Mike Fogelson. "That's the kind of game we want to play offensively."

Collin Leif singled in the first inning but Bemidji could not bring him around. In the second stanza, however, the hits translated into a pair of runs.

Bellew and Cody Jenkins opened with back-to-back doubles for the first run. After a sacrifice bunt by Jeremiah Graves, Dom Hayle plated Jenkins with a single to center. Tyler Follis capped the frame with an RBI single to right.

Solheim's 2-out triple started a rally in the third which produced two more runs. Solheim scored on a wild pitch following his blast to center and consecutive doubles by Bellew and Jenkins combined for the other tally.

The Lumberjacks iced the victory with four in the fourth. The inning began when Mitchell Hendricks' fly to deep center was dropped. An out later Leif walked and pinch runner Sam Dwyer stole second.

Cody Rutledge followed with a 2-run single to right and Solheim's second triple of the game and Bellew's single produced the other two runs.

The Jacks added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth as Brandon Larson was hit by a pitch, Leif reached on an error and another miscue, this one a throwing error, and Rutledge's single capped the inning.

Ryan Stevens worked 6.1 innings on the BHS mound to earn the victory. Hendricks came on to get the final two outs.

The pitchers combined for four strikeouts and four walks. The defense also helped them by playing errorless baseball.

In Friday's nightcap the Warriors scored a run in the seventh to rally past the Jacks.

BHS led 2-1 heading into the sixth but Brainerd took advantage of two Bemidji errors to score the tying run. In the seventh Brainerd used Pat Skogen's leadoff double and Mitch Bzdok's 2-out hit to produce the eventual game-winner.

Tyler Follis went the distance on the Bemidji mound as did his Brainerd counterpart Blaine Bubalo. Follis allowed only five hits and Bubalo three.

Bemidji opened the scoring in the second as Rutledge singled, gained second on an error, third on Bellew's sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.

The visitors drew even with a run in the third but Bemidji regained the advantage in the fifth when Follis' single and stolen base and Leif's single combined for a run.

Brainerd, however, tied the game with the unearned run in the sixth and won it in the seventh.

Friday's split gave Bemidji a 6-5 record. Brainerd improved to 7-3.

Fergus Falls 001 100 3 - 5 9 4

Bemidji 032 420 x - 11 12 0

Woods (L), Lehmann (3), Briese (6) and Heck. K-2, BB-2

Stevens (W), Hendricks (7) and Leif. K-4, BB-4

Brainerd 001 001 1 - 3 5 3

Bemidji 010 010 0 - 2 3 4

Bubalo (W) and London. K-8, BB-4

Follis (L) and Leif.K-5, BB-2

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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