Two unearned runs surrendered in the fifth inning left Bemidji on the short end of a 2-0 loss at Rogers in a Section 8AAAA baseball matchup on Friday at Rogers High School.
The Royals threatened immediately in the bottom of the first inning on a leadoff triple provided by Noah Gordon.
Despite the immediate trouble, Bemidji starter Ty Lundeen and his defense navigated harmlessly through the next three batters, keeping Gordon stranded to end the inning.
Bemidji struggled to put runners on base early in the game, but got Hunter Brodina aboard when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning. An attempt from Brodina to take second base off a pitch in the dirt was thwarted on a strong throw, leaving the Lumberjacks still looking for momentum on offense.
Rogers’ most dangerous scoring threat of the opening three innings came in the third when the Royals loaded up the bases with just one out. But thanks to a strikeout from Lundeen and a flyout to center field, the Lumberjacks escaped with the game still scoreless.
The Royals made wholesale changes to their lineup in the fifth inning and produced the game’s only runs during the frame. Lundeen permitted two baserunners, but then induced a grounder that bounced off him on the mound. Despite having time to gather the ball for a throw to first, the toss sailed high and allowed both runners already on base to come home and give Rogers a 2-0 lead.
Looking for an immediate reply in the sixth, Bemidji started the frame with an opposite-field single by Cam Justice.
Two runners were aboard when Peyton Neadeau stepped in at the plate with two outs, but his groundout left the Lumberjacks still searching for runs.
One last gasp of hope was provided in the seventh by Parker Mistic when he tagged a single to the outfield.
The Lumberjacks would go quietly in the rest of the inning to conclude a close loss in section play to the two-time defending Section 8AAAA champions.
Lundeen pitched a complete game, allowing just the two unearned runs on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Bemidji (10-7) returns to play at the BSU Ballpark on Tuesday for a single game against Brainerd at 4pm.