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Legion scores seven in opener but Little Falls cruises in nightcap

Bemidji Legion Sam Dwyer sides around Little Falls catcher to score their third run in the second inning on Tuesday evening action. Bemidji won the first game 7-0. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - A strong offensive performance helped carry the Bemidji Post 14 Legion baseball team in the first game of their doubleheader against Little Falls, but Post 14 couldn't get much of anything going in the second game Tuesday night.

Bemidji split the doubleheader with Little Falls at the Bemidji State baseball diamond Tuesday, taking the first game 7-0 but falling in the second 11-2.

In the first game, Bemidji (13-5-1) jumped on Little Falls right away, scoring a run in the first inning when Cody Rutledge reached on an error then came around to score on a wild pitch.

In the second inning, Post 14 added to its lead thanks to a two-RBI single from Mitch Hendricks to make it 3-0.

Bemidji broke it open in the fifth, putting up four runs and batting around on little falls.

Rutledge started things off with a double off the left field wall then came around to score on a Collin Leif double to right center field.

Cody Jenkins singled to put runners at the corners with no outs and, after Mason Bellew struck out swinging, Connor McNallan added to the tally with a single to left.

Sam Dwyer added to the lead later. He hit what should have been a routine pop up but the Little Falls center fielder misplayed it, allowing Leif's courtesy runner Dom Hale to come around and score on the play.

Dwyer dug for third but didn't notice that McNallan had held up there. McNallan was tagged out going for home behind Hale, but McNallan stayed at third.

He came home two batters later, when Nick Hovila's double to left brought him home for the final run of the game.

Ryan Hirt got the start and threw all seven innings for the win. He gave up five hits, walked only two and struck out five.

Bemidji got 10 hits off Little Falls pitchers Gabe Ploof and Nathan Masog, also benefiting from three errors. Ploof took the loss for Little Falls in game one.

In the second game, Bemidji wasn't so strong.

Zach Solheim got the start but struggled, failing to get out of the second inning and giving up seven walks in two innings.

Little Falls scored seven runs in the second, and proceeded to score three more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth on their way to a 11-2 rout.

Bemidji's two runs came in the second and fifth innings.

Hovila hit an RBI single in the second and Dwyer hit another RBI single in the fifth for Bemidji's only two runs.

Joe Tuhulsky picked up the win for Little Falls while Solheim took the loss for Bemidji.

Bemidji is back in action today. They're scheduled to take on Brainerd at 7 p.m. in a single game.

Game One

Bemidji 7, Little Falls 0

Little Falls 000 000 0 - 0 5 3

Bemidji 120 040 x - 7 10 1

Ploof (L), Masog (6) and Arnold. K-4, BB-6

Hirt (W) and Leif. K-5, BB-2.

Game Two

Little Falls 11, Bemidji 2

Little Falls 070 031 0 - 11 9 3

Bemidji 010 010 0 - 2 8 1

Tuhulsky (W) and Arnold.

Solheim (L), Nissen (2), Leif (5), Rutledge (7) and Leif, Buckanaga.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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