YOUTH BASEBALL: Northern Heat survive and advance in Cal Ripken World Series
JONESBORO, Ark. -- The Bemidji Northern Heat 10-year-olds survived the team from Brookfield, Conn., on Tuesday, winning 8-7 and clinching a spot in the bracket of the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series.
JONESBORO, Ark. - The Bemidji Northern Heat 10-year-olds survived the team from Brookfield, Conn., on Tuesday, winning 8-7 and clinching a spot in the bracket of the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series.
The Northern Heat (2-1) were the more sound team on defense Tuesday and were able to fend off the feisty New England Regional Champions from Connecticut, which committed seven errors in the game.
“It was a good game,” head coach Jason Brodina said. “Connecticut is a tough team with no quit. We punched them, they punched back, but we had timely hitting and defense.”
Bemidji took a 4-0 lead after three innings of play with Cam Justice hitting a RBI single and Hunter Brodina getting a sacrifice RBI while two other runs scored off of errors.
Brookfield (1-2) answered with a four-run fourth inning to tie the game off a passed ball and three RBI singles.
But Bemidji would strike again with its second-straight three-run inning in its half of the fourth to go up 7-4. The inning was highlighted by Brodina’s RBI double to give him two RBI for the game.
Ethan Biehn came up big in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI single which knocked in what ended up being the game-winning hit with two outs in the inning.
On the defensive side, Will Zellmann came up big for the Northern Heat, especially in the sixth and final inning.
In the final inning, Zellmann made a diving grab for the first out then made another catch in center field for the final out, stranding the tying run on third base for Connecticut.
“We had good team hitting and played defense,” Brodina said. “Will Zellmann came up huge for us with his play in center field. He made a few unbelievable plays for us to help us win.”
With the win Bemidji moves to 2-1 in the pool play, and, having already beaten Brookfield and Jonesboro, Ark., clinches a spot as one of the top-three teams from the American Pool.
Upper Montgomery, Md., improved to 3-0 with an 11-1 win against Bemidji on Monday, clinching itself a spot in the six-team tournament. The Northern Heat are the second team in the pool to clinch a spot, leaving one spot open for Jonesboro and Brookfield to claim.
Tri-Counties, Texas, is 0-3 after blowing a 7-2 lead against Brookfield on Monday.
“Monday we didn’t play Northern Heat baseball,” Brodina said. “We feel we can play with any team here and (Tuesday) we played like what we are known for, as a team.”
Bemidji will finish pool play with a 6 p.m. matchup with the Southwest Regional Champions Tri-Counties today.
Bemidji 8, Brookfield 7
BEM 103 331 - 8-9-2
BRO 000 412 - 7-10-7
BEM Highlights - 2B: Brodina; SB: Fenske, Devescovi; RBI: Brodina 2, Justice, Biehn; WP: Biehn.