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Jacks to battle Brainerd

The Bemidji Lumberjacks head to Brainerd today, needing one win to gain a berth in the sectional series next week. The opening game is set for noon with the second game, if needed, to start 30 minutes after the opener ends. The Jacks take a spotl...

The Bemidji Lumberjacks head to Brainerd today, needing one win to gain a berth in the sectional series next week.

The opening game is set for noon with the second game, if needed, to start 30 minutes after the opener ends.

The Jacks take a spotless 3-0 post-season mark into play beating Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Detroit Lakes.

Brainerd is 3-1, losing to Detroit Lakes in extra innings, then beating Thief River, Alexandria and Detroit Lakes to gain the final.

As the top seed, the Warriors get the home field advantage over second-ranked Bemidji.

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The Warriors are 20-4 overall, losing league games to Apollo and Rocori, a non-league game to Grand Rapids and the sub-section opener.

Bemidji is 14-9, coming on strong in the late season after being 5-7 at the mid point in the year.

One of the early losses came to Brainerd 7-4 early in the year as Nick Rardin and Austin Smolke combined on a five hitter.

Brainerd had only seven off Haakon Pederson and Joe Andersen but scored four times in the sixth, three unearned, to take a 7-1 lead and held off the Jacks late comeback. The key hit was Nick Jelacie's three run homer in the sixth for the final three runs.

Andrew Hengel had two of the Bemidji hits and drove home two runs.

Bemidji has not won the sub-section since 2000 when it advanced to the title series with Brainerd, then in the south sub-section, and lost.

Bemidji hasn't been to the state since the Matt Hopkins years in 1991.

Matt Fossen (3-0) will get the start today.

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The off-speed righthander carries a 4.72 earned run average but has been highly effective in several games this year.

In 26Xc innings he has given up 14 earned runs, fanned 22 and walked eight.

Set for the second game, should the series go to the limit, is lefty Sam Saccoman who carries a microscopic 1.71 earned run mark with eight earned runs allowed in 42 innings, fanning 51 and walking 15.

Simon Anderson will handle the receiving with Jeff Schaper, Ryan Johnson, Hengel and Anderson around the infield and Justin McKee, Tom Roetman and Pete Goldberg in the outfield.

Johnson and Sullivan are still over the. 350 mark with Hengel and Schaper the other .300 hitters and McKee just below that figure. Roetman has been a hot hitter of late, going 6-7 in the tournament while Andersen is 5-10. As a team, the Jacks are batting .288.

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