WORLD SERIES: Northern Heat take game one
JONESBORO, Ark. -- The Bemidji Northern Heat 10-year-olds got off to a good start to the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series by beating the host Jonesboro 6-5 on Saturday.
JONESBORO, Ark. - The Bemidji Northern Heat 10-year-olds got off to a good start to the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series by beating the host Jonesboro 6-5 on Saturday.
Trailing 5-4 in the fifth inning, the Northern Heat (1-0) were able to get runners on and put the ball in play to tie the game at 5-5.
With Ben Corradi standing on third and one out, Casey Rupp hit a deep fly ball allowing Corradi to score what ended up being the game-winning run in the fifth.
“We moved people around by bunting and putting the ball in play,” head coach Jason Brodina said. “This was a great team win.”
Ethan Biehn got the win for Bemidji as he went three innings and gave up one hit and no runs while not giving up any walks.
Biehn was helped out by his defense as none of his nine outs were off of strikeouts.
“He came in a kept the ball low and attacked the zone,” Brodina said. “We played solid defense behind him. That’s what we do, we play defense.”
Hitting had also been a trademark for the Northern Heat through the state and regional tournaments.
The hitting cooled off in the opening game of the World Series as Bemidji recorded only four hits, but the team put the ball in play at the opportune times.
“Our kids were a bit nervous in the first three innings,” Brodina said. “When we needed the key hits or sacrifice fly we got it. We bunted very well as well.”
Jonesboro took a 2-0 lead early in the second inning before Bemidji answered with a pair of runs of its own in the second to make it 2-2. Eli Klinke got a bases loaded walk to bring in the first run and he was followed by Ashton Niemi who was hit by a pitch.
Jonesboro plated three more runs in the third inning to make it 5-2, but Bemidji cut the deficit to one with two more runs in its half of the third. Corradi and Ty Lundeen both scored on an error off the bat of Nick Yavarow.
The Northern Heat’s top-three hitters struggled in the game, something Brodina believes will change before the 4 p.m. game Monday against Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions Upper Montgomery, Md.
“We had a couple baserunning and mental errors that I’m chalking up to playing the World Series for the first time,” he said. “Our top-three hitters went 1-for-8 and I expect them to turn it around.”
Bemidji will need its bats against Upper Montgomery, who beat Tri-Counties, Texas, 7-3 earlier in the day Saturday.
The top-three teams in each division will advance to bracket play, so a win on Monday will go a long way in assuring the Northern Heat get one of those six spots.
Bemidji 6, Jonesboro 5
JON 023 000 - 5-5-4
BEM 022 02x - 6-4-1
BEM Highlights - RBI: Klinke, Niemi, Rupp; WP: Biehn.