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Baseball: Hirt, Johnson lead Bemidji to 4-1 win over Duluth East

Bemidji’s Ryan Hirt throws a pitch during the sixth inning of the Lumberjacks’ game against Duluth East Friday. Hirt had a three-hitter in Bemidji’s 4-1 win. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer1 / 2
Bemidji third baseman Eric Fitzgerald digs out a throw from the catcher as Duluth East’s Ben Tarnowski steals the base during their Des Sagedahl Wood Bat Classic Friday at the BSU baseball diamond. Bemidji won 4-1. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 2

BEMIDJI -- Thomas Revering has played baseball with Ryan Hirt since the classmates were 12 years old, and this spring the teammates have combined to give the Lumberjacks a solid battery.

Friday night at the BSU diamond in the Des Sagedahl Wooden Bat tournament Hirt made his second home pitching appearance of the season and Revering had a ringside seat behind the plate.

And Revering enjoyed what he was seeing as BHS downed the Greyhounds 4-1 and improved its overall record to 11-2.

Hirt tossed a 3-hitter and Dan Johnson paced the offense with a triple and two singles as the Jacks dominated Duluth East and cruised to the win.

"It is so much fun catching Ryan," Revering said. "He doesn't miss his spots very often and I think his fastball looks like it did when he was pitching at the state tournament as a sophomore. When you hear the seems zipping you know Ryan's fastball is buzzing. That's pretty cool."

In his seven-inning complete game, Hirt threw only one offspeed pitch -- a curve in the third inning that missed the plate high and wide. With the exception of that pitch, Hirt threw only fastballs and the results included 12 strikeouts and three walks.

The Greyhounds managed three hits but only Frankie Hanson's RBI single to center in the sixth inning could be considered well-hit.

"The Duluth kids were behind Ryan's fastball all day and we figured that if they couldn't hit it, why should we change," Revering said. "It is a big advantage for a pitcher when you can throw the fastball and not have to worry about using the curve."

The Lumberjacks offense also had a productive game as Bemidji ripped 10 hits, led by Johnson's triple and two singles. His first single of the night helped BHS score three runs in the third inning.

Bemidji took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when James Hendricks singled, stole second and scored courtesy of Collin Rutledge's double along the first base line.

The Lumberjacks upped their cushion to 4-0 in the third and starting the spurt were a walk to Tony Geerdes, Johnson's single to right and Erik Fitzgerald's infield hit which loaded the bases.

An out later Rutledge plated Geerdes and Johnson with a single to center and Hirt helped his own cause with an RBI single to the outfield.

The Jacks also loaded the bases to open the fourth but a line-drive double play and a fly to right ended that threat.

BHS also stranded runners in scoring position in its final two at-bats as Rutledge was left at second in the fifth and Johnson couldn't advance after his two-out triple in the sixth.

Rutledge finished with a double and a single and three RBIs.

Bemidji and Roseau played late Friday in the day's final tournament game and today the action will resume with Duluth East taking on Roseau at 10 a.m. The Lumberjacks and Greyhounds will stage a rematch today at 12:30 p.m.

In Friday's tournament opener Grand Forks Red River spilled Roseau 8-1.

Bemidji 4, Duluth East 1

Duluth East 000 001 0 - 1 3 1

Bemidji 103 000 x - 4 10 0

Laakso (L) and Aldrich. K-1, BB-1

Hirt (W) and Revering. K-12, BB-3

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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