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BASEBALL: Bemidji blasts Buffalo with run-rule walk-off to open home schedule

Good pitching beats good hitting, the baseball maxim goes. But when a team has both, that’s the mark of a contender – and the Bemidji High School baseball team put both its bats and its pitching staff on full display Tuesday at the BSU baseball field.

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Hunter Brodina.jpg
Bemidji junior Hunter Brodina (11) touches the plate to score in the third inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – Good pitching beats good hitting, the baseball maxim goes.

But when a team has both, that’s the mark of a contender – and the Bemidji High School baseball team put both its bats and its pitching staff on full display Tuesday at the BSU baseball field.

Behind four strong innings from starting pitcher Ty Lundeen and an offensive outburst that rang up 12 runs, the Lumberjacks run-ruled visiting Buffalo 12-2 in five innings – making their first home game of the year a memorable one.

“It was awesome to be at home,” BHS head coach Mike Fogelson said. “Weather was absolutely beautiful. Nicest day we've been outside.”

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Will Zellmann.jpg
Bemidji junior Will Zellmann (4) runs to third base in the third inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

After five road games to start the season, Bemidji (5-1) finally took its home field for the first time all year. The Jacks looked pretty comfortable.

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“We've had to learn to be patient,” Fogelson said. “It's obviously not fun, but the guys have done a really good job.”

BHS was patient at the plate, coaxing double-digit pitches out of Buffalo starter Tristan Moore in each inning and chasing him from the game in the third. Twelve Bemidji batters came to the plate in that frame, with six of them scoring to build a 7-1 lead.

Hunter Brodina, Ben Corradi, Cam Justice, Will Zellmann, Peyton Neadeau and Parker Mistic all had hits to give the Jacks an insurmountable advantage – especially with the way Lundeen was throwing.

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Ty Lundeen.jpg
Bemidji junior Ty Lundeen (7) throws a pitch in the first inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“I just wanted to throw strikes,” Lundeen said. “I thought the defense played really, really well behind me. They helped me out on a lot of 50/50 balls that helped me get out of innings."

Lundeen also contributed at the plate, hitting in the cleanup spot and collecting two singles, a walk and three runs scored in his four trips to the dish.

“We all know we can do everything well,” said Lundeen, who allowed just three hits and no earned runs with five strikeouts on the mound. “Everyone brings something to the table. We just don't have a weak link.”

The Lumberjacks officially closed out the game with a five-run rally in the fifth. Mistic led off with a single, which Brodina followed with a walk. Corradi, Lundeen and Ethan Biehn then singled consecutively, with Biehn’s two-run knock giving the Jacks an 11-2 lead.

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Peyton Neadeau, Dan Clusiau.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Peyton Neadeau (16) high-fives junior Dan Clusiau (23) after Clusiau scored in the third inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

With two outs, Zellmann lined his fourth single of the game to left, bringing in Biehn as the walk-off run.

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BHS has now won five straight, with Tuesday’s performance also serving as a showcase of its mettle against a Section 8-4A opponent.

“We have a really good section in the state,” Fogelson said. “There's a lot of good teams, but these guys set high goals and they're working hard at them. I'll give them credit.”

“We really carried the momentum from our last couple of games,” Lundeen said. “Now a five-game win streak. Big section win again. (Playing) at home definitely helped, but we have a lot of momentum right now going into the rest of this week also.”

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Ethan Biehn.jpg
Bemidji junior Ethan Biehn (2) throws a pitch in the fourth inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji has three more home games scheduled this week, starting with Detroit Lakes at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, back at the BSU baseball field. Coupled with a Friday doubleheader against Alexandria at Des Sagedahl Field, the Lumberjacks have a golden opportunity to continue the momentum of their strong start in the friendly confines of their home parks.

“There's a lot of teams in the state that think they can go all the way, and I think we're one of them,” Fogelson said. “The guys are smart. They know how we start isn't what matters – it’s how we finish, and they're going to be focused on that.”

Bemidji 12, Buffalo 2

BUF 001 01 – 2-5-2

BEM 016 05 – 12-15-1

WP: Lundeen (4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

LP: Moore (2.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)

050722.S.BP.BHSBASE Caden Bolte.jpg
Bemidji senior Caden Bolte (9) hits a single in the fifth inning against Buffalo on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at the BSU baseball field.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Related Topics: BASEBALLBEMIDJI LUMBERJACKS
Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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