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State baseball: Burnsville beats Bemidji 13-0, sends Jacks into consolation bracket

Heading into the state tournament the Bemidji baseball team was playing as well as it had all season. The Lumberjacks were riding high after coming through the loser's bracket to capture the 8-3A title and they were eager to continue the ride at the state tournament.

Unfortunately, the road to a hoped-for state championship took a detour Thursday morning as BHS hit a major speed bump after losing 13-0 to Burnsville in the first round.

The setback dropped the Lumberjacks into Friday's consolation bracket at Dick Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota campus and a 10 a.m. game against defending state champion Eden Prairie which lost 3-0 to Rochester Century Thursday.

If Bemidji can topple Eden Prairie it will return to Siebert Field at 3 p.m. in the consolation title game.

"Burnsville played well and we couldn't get going," said Bemidji coach Mike Fogelson of Thursday's loss. "We wanted to play our best baseball but we didn't do that. We played hard but not many things went right for us and we didn't give ourselves a chance."

Each team was retired in order in the first inning but the roof caved in on BHS starting pitcher Zach Solheim and his defense in the second stanza.

Solheim was touched for seven hits in the inning while the defense committed two errors. The result was a 5-run Burnsville explosion and more than enough runs for pitcher Quinn Johnson.

"Johnson did a nice job on the mound," Fogelson said. "He had a good mix of pitches, threw strikes and kept us off balance."

Johnson was in complete control and he retired the Jacks in order through the first four innings. Trailing 13-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth Bemidji was still looking for its first baserunner.

Johnson retired Cody Jenkins for the first out of the fifth but Cody Rutledge finally broke the bid for the perfect game and the no-hitter with an infield single to deep short. Mason Bellew followed with a line-drive base hit to right to put Lumberjacks at first and second but Johnson preserved the shutout with a pair of strikeouts.

"We're disappointed because we didn't play at our best," Fogelson said. "But Friday is another day and our goal is to have a better performance."

Eden Prairie was officially dethroned as the state champs by Rochester Century and leading the way was junior right-handed pitcher Mitchell Brown who tossed a 2-hitter.

Brown struck out 10 and walked only two.

Century scored a pair of runs in the fourth and added an insurance tally in the seventh on Calvin Bjerke's solo home run.

Bemidji will take an 18-10 record into today's consolation game while Eden Prairie is 21-6.

Burnsville 056 20 - 13 15 0

Bemidji 000 00 - 0 2 5

Johnson (W 7-0) and Threlkeld. K-9, BB-0

Solheim (L 7-3), Graves (3, Schneider (5) and Leif. K-3, BB-4

Rochester Century 000 200 1 - 3 5 0

Eden Prairie 000 000 0 - 0 2 1

Brown (W 11-1) and Merges. K-10, BB-2

Bray (L 6-2) and Blasey. K-4, BB-0

Class 3-A State Tournament

Thursday's Opening Round

Game 1: Burnsville 13, Bemidji 0, 5 innings

Game 2: Rochester Century 3, Eden Prairie 0

Game 3: Maple Grove (24-1) vs. Bloomington Kennedy (12-13)

Game 4: Stillwater (19-5) vs. Forest Lake (20-6)

Friday's Schedule

Championship Semifinals

Midway Stadium

Game 5: Burnsville (22-3) vs. Rochester Century (21-6), noon

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 2:30 p.m.

Third Place Game

Game 7: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 5 p.m.

Consolation Round

Dick Siebert Field, U of M


Game 8: Bemidji (18-10) vs. Eden Prairie (21-6), 10 a.m.

Game 9: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 12:30 p.m.

Consolation Final

Game 10: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 3 p.m.

June 21 Championship

Target Field

Game 11: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 6 p.m.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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