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BASEBALL: Bemidji splits tight twin bill with Moorhead

“In my opinion, these are two really good baseball teams,” Bemidji coach Nate Blumhagen said. “I mean there were two close games, two well-pitched and well-defended games. Obviously we would have been happier getting two here tonight, but I’m satisfied with the way that we’re playing.”

070321.S.BP.LEGION Ty Lundeen.jpg
The Centaurs celebrate after Ty Lundeen (7) scored in the first game of a doubleheader against Moorhead on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji American Legion baseball team extended its win streak to eight before seeing it get snapped in the finale of a doubleheader against the Moorhead Blues on Thursday night at the BSU Baseball Field. The Centaurs took game one 3-1 before succumbing 4-3 in the nightcap.

“In my opinion, these are two really good baseball teams,” Bemidji coach Nate Blumhagen said. “I mean there were two close games, two well-pitched and well-defended games. Obviously we would have been happier getting two here tonight, but I’m satisfied with the way that we’re playing.”

Thursday’s loss marked the first time in four doubleheaders this season that Post 14 didn’t come away with a sweep. But Bemidji remains an impressive 11-2 on the year.

Both the Centaurs and Blues could meet again in the Sub-State 14 playoffs later this month.

“They’re deep, they’re veteran,” Blumhagen said. “They’ve got six kids back from college that have all been through this before. There’s going to be no gimmes from them if we have to see them and have to beat them. But, luckily, we know we can do it.”

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Bemidji’s Hunter Brodina (11) gets the out at second and throws to first during the first game of a doubleheader against Moorhead on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Moorhead got on the board in the opening frame of game one to assume an early 1-0 lead. The visitors limited Bemidji to four hits for the game, but a three-run fifth inning turned things around for the home side.

The Centaurs loaded the bases to begin the fifth before JD Kondos issued a single to level the score. Isaiah Biehn drove in the go-ahead run one batter later by grounding into a fielder’s choice. Brandon Lussier drew a bases-loaded walk to bring the game to its final score of 3-1.

Grant Declusin held the Blues scoreless over five innings to earn the win after relieving Biehn.

“Grant Declusin came in and threw five scoreless innings for us when he didn’t really intend to pitch today,” Blumhagen said. “To step up in the middle of the game and just go throw was really big of him. And then Ty (Lundeen) did the same thing in game two. He held the score right there and gave us a chance.”

Just as the first game, Moorhead opened the nightcap with a 1-0 lead through the first frame by taking advantage of an error. One swing of the bat extended the lead to 4-0 thanks to Ryan Luthi’s three-run home run in the third.

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Bemidji’s Isaiah Biehn makes a catch in the first game of a doubleheader against Moorhead on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Biehn put the Centaurs on the board in the fifth with a sac fly before a Lussier RBI double halved the deficit to 4-2.

Aaron Heger narrowed the gap to one run in the sixth on his RBI single. But despite outhitting the Blues 9-7, Bemidji went down in order in the seventh inning to fall 4-3.

Lussier took the loss after conceding four runs on five hits with five strikeouts. Lundeen pitched two scoreless innings in relief and struck out two.

“Offensively, we struggled a little bit today,” Blumhagen said. “We lost our approaches in all but a couple innings. We were swinging at some pitches that are not typical of us. Those are things we're going to have to go back to the drawing board a little bit on and get a little more discipline.”

The Centaurs will travel to Fergus Falls on Monday, July 5, before returning home to face Perham on Tuesday, July 6.

Bemidji 3, Moorhead 1

MHD 100 000 0 -- 1-7-0

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BEM 000 030 X -- 3-4-1

WP: Declusin (5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB)

LP: Zimmel (4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 K, 5 BB)

Moorhead 4, Bemidji 3

MHD 103 000 0 -- 4-7-1

BEM 000 021 0 -- 3-9-2

WP: Gast (6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 K, 0 BB)

LP: Lussier (5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 K, 1 BB)

Related Topics: BASEBALL
Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at sports@bemidjipioneer.com.
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