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BASEBALL: Boston Smith homers as Woodpeckers win, avoid elimination

The Bemidji Junior Legion baseball team is moving on to Saturday at the state tournament.

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Pioneer file photo
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BLOOMINGTON – The Bemidji Junior Legion baseball team is moving on to Saturday at the state tournament.

After losing an 8-4 winners bracket matchup with Hutchinson early Friday afternoon, the Woodpeckers avoided elimination with a 12-8 win over Hopkins. The win keeps their season alive and gives them a chance to still compete for the state championship in Bloomington.

The clutch victory over Hopkins was an offensive showdown, as the two teams combined for 20 runs. Both clubs scored twice in the first inning, but Hopkins took a 6-4 lead after the second frame.

Bemidji (15-9) had an answer in the middle innings. Down 7-5 after three, the Woodpeckers responded with a three-run home run by Boston Smith in the top of the fourth to take an 8-7 lead. They fortified that advantage with a three-run sixth, highlighted by Landon Hanson’s two-run double.

Leading 12-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Bemidji put itself in some jeopardy after Hopkins scored a run and loaded the bases with two outs, bringing the tying run to the plate. But Dylan Lundin entered for the Woodpeckers on the mound and induced a harmless fly ball to center field, ending the game and earning the save.

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Alex Schaefer, whose sacrifice fly in the sixth also helped stretch the lead, pitched 4.2 innings for Bemidji and allowed just two runs (one earned) on six hits to pick up the win.

In the early game against Hutchinson, the Woodpeckers took an early 2-1 lead but found themselves down 5-2 after a four-run Hutchinson rally in the third inning. Bemidji never led again, ultimately dropping down to the losers bracket.

Now 2-1 in the tournament, the Woodpeckers will next face the winner of Bloomington and Delano in another must-win game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, back in Bloomington. The winner of Bemidji’s game advances to play at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in the losers bracket final.

Hutchinson 8, Bemidji 4

HUT 104 000 3 – 8-14-5

BEM 020 100 1 – 4-6-4

WP: Lenz (3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

LP: St. John (6.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

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Bemidji 12, Hopkins 8

BEM 221 303 1 – 12-10-6

HOP 241 000 1 – 8-11-1

WP: Schaefer (4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K)

LP: Winters (2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K)

S: Lundin

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.