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Baseball: Legion begins postseason Thursday at Perham; Blue Ox hosts Cass Lake Monday

BEMIDJI — The Legion baseball team was given the sixth seed for the sub-district tournament and will take on No. 3 Perham 7 p.m. Thursday its the opening round of the double-elimination event.

The entire tournament will be held at Perham.

In Thursday’s earlier games, No. 4 seed Alexandria will face No. 5 Thief River Falls at 10 a.m., top-ranked Moorhead will tangle with No. 8 Detroit Lakes at 1 p.m. and second seed East Grand Forks will battle No. 7 Fergus Falls at 7 p.m.

If Bemidji wins its opener it will play at 7 p.m. Friday. A loss to Perham, however, would drop the Legion into the loser’s bracket and a 1 p.m. win-or-go-home game.

The championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday. If a second game in the championship series is needed, it will be played on Monday, July 28.

“I like playing the late game on Thursday,” said Bemidji coach Nate Blumhagen. “Perham has a dirt infield and on a hot day it can be tough to play on. But after the sun goes down the field is actually better.”

Last Thursday Perham traveled to Bemidji and outlasted the Legion 13-11 in a game that was not well-played by either team. Blumhagen believes that Bemidji will elevate its game this week, however.

“Everybody on the roster will be available this week and that is the first time all summer that we will have everybody on hand and available,” the coach said.

Blumhagen expects Collin Rutledge to pitch Thursday’s opener and plans to start Ryan Hirt and Connor McNallan later in the tournament.

“Collin has been our ace all summer,” Blumhagen said. “He is leading the staff in all statistical categories so he will get the start on Thursday.”

The tournament games are scheduled for nine innings so a deep pitching staff is critical for any team with hopes of advancing.

“We have the pitching and our plan is to get through the first game and go from there,” the coach said.

“We’re excited for the playoffs,” Blumhagen continued. “It’s been a roller coaster season and we have had to place players out of their comfort zones both offensively and defensively. But now we are at full strength and we should be ready to go.”

Blue Ox faces Cass Lake

The Blue Ox men’s amateur baseball team automatically advanced to the six-team district tournament by gaining the top seed in the conference tournament.

With only three teams comprising the Lake and Pines Conference, Bemidji was given a bye in the league playoffs while No. 2 Cass Lake was scheduled to play against No. 3 Nevis on Sunday to determine the other district qualifier.

That game, however, was never played as Nevis forfeited to the Reds. As a result of the forfeit, Bemidji and Cass Lake both advanced to the district tournament which will begin Aug. 2 in Roseau. The district meet will include the top two finishers of three league playoff tournaments and the district runner-up and champion will advance to the Class C state tournament.

The Blue Ox and Cass Lake will play 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 28 at the BSU diamond and the winner will earn the league’s top seed for the district meet.

Bemidji Legion

Sub-District Tournament

At Perham

Thursday’s First Round

Game 1: No. 4 Alexandria vs. No. 5 Thief River Falls, 10 a.m.

Game 2: No. 1 Moorhead vs. No. 8 Detroit Lakes, 1 p.m.

Game 3: No. 2 East Grand Forks vs. No. 7 Fergus Falls, 4 p.m.

Game 4: No. 3 Perham vs. No. 6 Bemidji, 7 p.m.

Friday’s Games

Loser’s Bracket

Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 10 a.m. (loser eliminated)

Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Winner’s Bracket

Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m.

Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Loser’s Bracket

Game 9: Game 8 loser vs. Game 5 winner, 10 a.m. (loser eliminated)

Game 10: Game 7 loser vs. Game 6 winner, 1 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 4 p.m. (loser eliminated)

Winner’s Bracket

Game 12: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7 p.m.

Sunday’s Games

Loser’s Bracket

Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 loser, 1 p.m (loser eliminated)

Winner’s Bracket

Game 14: Game 12 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 4 p.m.

Monday’s Game

Game 15: Repeat of Game 14, 6 p.m. (if necessary)

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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