AMATEUR BASEBALL: Blue Ox blast Ada 14-1, book return to state tourney
The Blue Ox wallopped Ada 14-1 on Sunday in Ada behind a 10-run seventh inning. That secured Bemidji a convincing victory in the winners bracket final of the Region 10C Tournament, clinching the team’s seventh state berth in the past nine seasons.
ADA -- The Bemidji Blue Ox amateur baseball team is stampeding back to the state tournament.
The Blue Ox walloped Ada 14-1 on Sunday in Ada behind a 10-run seventh inning. That secured Bemidji a convincing victory in the winners bracket final of the Region 10C Tournament, clinching the team’s seventh state berth in the past nine seasons and fourth in a row.
Ada struck first and actually led for most of the day. The A’s scored their run in the bottom of the first inning, preserving that lead through four innings.
But the Blue Ox leveled the score at 1-1 in the fifth on Bazil Zuehlke’s RBI groundout. Caleb Manecke then provided the go-ahead hit in the sixth inning, plating two runs on a single.
But the offense was still just warming up. Bemidji exploded for 10 runs in the seventh, which featured RBIs from six different batters -- Mitch Hendricks, Cody Rutledge, Ben Thoma, Turner Storm, Manecke and Zuehlke. Storm also provided the pop with a three-run home run in the frame.
The Blue Ox turned in a fine defensive showing, as well. Brandon Lussier pitched a complete game in the mercy rule-shortened affair, allowing just one run off nine hits while striking out three.
With the win, Bemidji advances to the championship series of the Region 10C Tournament. The Blue Ox will host the remainder of the tournament, and they need one more victory to claim the title plus a first-round bye at the Class C state tournament.
Bemidji’s next game will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the BSU baseball field against the winner of Ada and Dilworth. If necessary, a winner-take-all rematch will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14, at the BSU baseball field.
Bemidji 14, Ada 1
BEM 000 013 (10) -- 14-14-0
ADA 100 000 0 -- 1-9-4
WP: Lussier (CG, 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
LP: Opsahl (6.2 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)