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Bemidji Legion drops opener in Gopher Classic

BLOOMINGTON - The Bemidji Post 14 Legion baseball team waited nearly an hour and a half to play its first game in the Gopher Classic Friday.

Once the rain ended, the day didn't get much better for Post 14.

Bemidji dropped the opener of pool play in the 84-team tournament to the Calgary Redbirds 3-2.

"We had a shot," head coach Mike Fogelson said. "We pitched well, and played good defense, but their pitcher was good. We were aggressive and we hit too many fly balls."

Post 14 fell into an early 3-0 deficit, as Calgary scored a run in the first inning and two in the third.

But Bemidji finally got through Calgary pitcher Kristjen Kostiuk in the fourth inning.

Mitchell Hendricks singled and eventually scored after Cody Rutledge walked, Cody Jenkins was hit by a pitch and Mason Bellew hit into an RBI fielders choice to put Bemidji on the scoreboard.

That made it 3-1, but Bemidji wouldn't score again until the bottom of the seventh.

Bellew doubled to kick off the inning.

And two batters later, Sam Dwyer hit a one-out single to score Bellew and cut the Calgary lead to 3-2.

But the next Post 14 batter hit into a line drive double play to end the game and hand Bemidji the loss.

"That was close," Fogelson said. "That goes through, and we're in good shape."

Both teams played a clean game. Bemidji had five hits off Kostiuk, who picked up the win. He struck out three and walked two.

Trent Baker took the tough-luck loss. He struck out one, walked three and gave up seven hits.

Pool play continues tomorrow for Bemidji, with a pair of games in the morning.

Post 14 takes on Bloomington Gold at 9 a.m., then plays Coon Rapids at 11:30 a.m.

Calgary 3, Bemidji 2

Calgary 102 000 0 - 3 7 0

Bemidji 000 100 1 - 2 5 0

Kostiuk (W) and Belliveau. K-3, BB-2.

Baker (L) and Leif. K-1, BB-4.

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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