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BASEBALL: Bemidji splits with Fergus Falls

FERGUS FALLS — The Bemidji High School baseball team played solid at the plate, on the mound and in the field during the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, posting a 7-1 victory and earning a split in the twinbill against Fergus Falls.

The Otters claimed the opener 16-12, scoring 13 runs in the first inning and overcoming a furious BHS charge. Friday’s split gave Bemidji a 2-3 record. The Jacks return to duty Wednesday when they host Grand Rapids in a doubleheader.

In Friday’s second game BHS pitcher Collin Rutledge was in command from the outset as he limited the Otters to only one run in the fifth inning. The home team did load the bases with two down in the sixth but reliever Connor McNallan came in to end that threat with a ground ball.

McNallan walked the first batter in the seventh but settled the issue by fanning the next three hitters.

BHS opened the scoring with a run in the first inning as Nick Hovila singled, advanced to third courtesy of a wild pitch and a grounder and scored with the aid of McNallan’s infield out.

Singles by Devin Barrett and Billy Baumgartner put runners on the corners in the second and Barrett scored when Austin Weidemann’s pop fly fell between a pair of infielders.

The Lumberjacks broke the game open with three runs in the fourth. Cody Labernik began the uprising with a walk and Barrett’s double and a walk to Baumgartner filled the bases. Weidemann promptly unloaded them with a 3-run double.

Bemidji added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on walks to Weidemann and Mark Fenner, a fielder’s choice and McNallan’s sacrifice fly.

Weidemann paced the offense with a double, single and four RBI. Barrett contributed a double and a single.

First game

Bemidji spotted the Otters a 13-0 lead after one inning of the opener but rallied to within 13-12 on the strength of 5-run fourth and sixth innings.

The home team, however, regained control with three in the lower sixth and preserved the victory by holding the Lumberjacks scoreless in the seventh.

Fergus Falls took advantage of some walks, six hits and two costly BHS errors to score the 13 runs in the opening stanza.

Bemidji’s comeback began with two runs in the second and it hit overdrive with five in the fourth.

The frame featured Barrett’s single and RBI singles by Baumgartner, Thomas Revering, Hovila and Drew Peterson.

Trailing 13-7 after five innings the Jacks closed their gap to a single run with five runs in the sixth.

Hovila started that rally with a single and singles by Parker Lucas and McNallan plated the first run. After Peterson walked, Labernik delivered a 2-run single and Barrett drove in the fifth run with a ground ball.

Fergus Falls spoiled Bemidji’s comeback bid by turning three hits and a couple errors into three insurance runs in the lower sixth.

Bemidji’s offense included 14 hits and the Jacks also profited from three Fergus Falls errors. Defensively, however, BHS had four errors and its three pitchers combined for 10 walks.

First Game

Bemidji 0 20 505 0 – 12 14 4

Fergus Falls (13)00 003 x – 16 13 3

Peterson (L), Baumgartner (1), Anderson (5) and Revering. K-2, BB-10

Hanson (W), Aasness (6) and Heinen. K-4, BB-2

Second Game

Bemidji 110 302 0 – 7 8 1

Fergus Falls 000 010 0 – 1 4 1

Rutledge (W), McNallan (6) and Weidemann. K-9, BB-3

Hanson (L), Breen (6) and Heinen. K-10, BB-6

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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