BASEBALL: Jacks subdue Warroad for 4-2 win

WARROAD -- It may have come in unconventional fashion, but the Bemidji High School baseball team was happy to get out of Warroad with a 4-2 win on Tuesday.

BHS_Softball web art
Bemidji Lumberjacks

WARROAD -- It may have come in unconventional fashion, but the Bemidji High School baseball team was happy to get out of Warroad with a 4-2 win on Tuesday.

After a 2-2 tie through six innings, Hunter Olson took one for the team with a bases-loaded hit by pitch, and soon after Joe Fletcher scampered home on a wild pitch. The two runs marked the difference in the game after Brandon Lussier escaped a jam in the bottom of the seventh for a two-out save.

“We executed some things really well,” BHS head coach Mike Fogelson said. “Finding that winning formula is huge in a game like that, where we’re doing everything we can to try to win that game down the stretch. It was good.”

The Lumberjacks (4-2) also fought through chilly temperatures, which Fogelson said had an affect on the low-scoring affair.

“I think the cold had a lot to do with the score being as low as it was,” he said. “I thought we battled at the plate, did a great job, but it definitely had an impact. Runs were at a premium.”


Bemidji got off on the right foot nonetheless. Cole Tatro lined a first-inning single up the middle to score Fletcher, and BHS had the early 1-0 advantage.

The Warriors answered back in the second frame, though, as Owen Meeker drew a walk with the bases loaded and Zach Foster singled in Vance Kleinschmidt.

Tatro’s bat drove in another run in the third, this time on a fielder’s choice that leveled the game at 2-all. Johnny Melhus found a groove from there, keeping Warroad quiet through six while retiring nine batters in a row.

“Great outing for Johnny. Best performance for his high school career,” Fogelson said. “We knew he was solid, but for him to come out and have that kind of effort -- it was great for him, great for the team.”

The Jacks scored the go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh, but the Warriors threatened in their half. Two walks and an error had the bases loaded on one out, and Melhus was lifted for Lussier. A popout and a strikeout later, Bemidji snuck out with the 4-2 win.

“The result was always hanging in the balance there,” Fogelson said. “Johnny was right at 100 pitches about, and he had given us everything he could. So let’s bring in Lussier, who’s one of our top pitchers. He just came in and threw hard, mixed pitches well and ended the game for us.”

Melhus’ line ended with two runs (zero earned) on four hits, walking three and striking out seven over 6 1/3 innings.

“It was awesome. He gave us a huge lift,” Fogelson said. “I was very happy with Johnny’s effort.”


BHS will return home for a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Alexandria on Thursday, May 2, at the BSU baseball field.

Bemidji 4, Warroad 2

BHS 101 000 2 -- 4-7-4

WHS 020 000 0 -- 2-4-2

WP: Melhus (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K)

LP: Nash (CG, 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K)

S: Lussier

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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