BASEBALL: Jacks sweep Spuds, improve section seeding
MOORHEAD — The Section 8-3A baseball seedings will be determined Friday and with two days before judgment day nothing is settled.
Bemidji entered Wednesday’s action seeded 10th in the 12-team field but it is likely that the Lumberjacks will take a long leap forward after sweeping Moorhead 7-2 and 4-2 at Concordia-Moorhead.
The sweep gave the Lumberjacks an 11-6 record heading into today’s regular season finale at Brainerd.
The seedings are determined by the QRF rankings and leading the section prior to Wednesday was Alexandria with a 13-5 record and a 155.7 QRF. Big Lake (13-5) was in second with a 139.7 QRF.
Sauk Rapids (8-6, 138.7), St. Cloud Tech (8-8, 128.2) and St. Michael-Albertville (9-7, 125.0) completed the top five.
Based on overall records BHS now rates third in the section. Based on the QRF Bemidji’s was 10th at 113.8 heading into Wednesday but the Jacks should have improved their position with Wednesday’s success.
“These two wins over Moorhead were very important for our section seeding,” said Bemidji coach Mike Fogelson.
“Every win in our section is important. The seedings, especially those between fourth and 11th, are really tight and every win counts.
“I think we really helped ourselves in the section with Wednesday’s two wins,” the coach added.
Devin Barrett was the offensive leader Wednesday. In the first game Barrett ripped three hits, including a pair of 2-run triples.
He contributed two singles and another triple in the nightcap.
Barrett’s single set the stage for two runs in the second inning of the opener. A walk to Austin Weidemann and Mark Fenner’s single loaded the bases and Parker Lucas plated the two lead runners with a solid single.
BHS put the game out of reach with three runs in the fifth. Nick Hovila singled and Billy Baumgartner reached on an error to put two Jacks on base. Both of the runners advanced on a wild pitch and Hovila scored courtesy of Connor McNallan’s single.
Barrett followed with a 2-run triple to the right-center gap.
The Spuds drew within 5-2 with a pair in the sixth but Bemidji answered with two in the top of the seventh.
McNallan’s single and a walk to Drew Peterson set the stage for another Barrett triple to right-center.
Collin Rutledge went the distance on the BHS mound, fanning five and walking two.
“Collin was in complete control,” Fogelson said. “This was his best outing of the year.”
Seth Anderson started on the mound in the second game and the sophomore earned the victory with five solid innings. McNallan earned a save with two innings of relief.
BHS opened the scoring with a pair in the first frame. With one out Baumgartner was hit by a pitch and he gained third on McNallan’s single. McNallan was nailed at second, however, trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Peterson followed with an RBI double and he scored on Barrett’s single.
In the second stanza the Lumberjacks scored two more runs as Fenner walked, Lucas singled and Baumgartner ripped a 2-run single.
Fogelson was also pleased with his team’s defense and, heading into the postseason, a solid defense is vital to any team that has aspirations of going deep into the playoffs.
“We didn’t make an error in the doubleheader and we also made many very nice plays,” Fogelson said.
Bemidji 020 030 2 – 7 11 0
Moorhead 000 002 0 – 2 4 1
Rutledge (W) and Buckanaga. K-5, BB-2
Wiesmann (L), England (6) and Skjeste. K-4, BB-2
Bemidji 220 000 0 – 4 10 0
Moorhead 000 200 0 – 2 4 0
Anderson (W), McNallan (S) (6) and Revering. K-7, BB-6
Kraiger (L), Jorgensen (5) and Noenig. K-4, BB-3