Bemidji and Moorhead each posted five-run innings to split a baseball doubleheader, with Moorhead capturing game one 5-3 and the Lumberjacks returning the favor in a 5-3 win in the second game on Tuesday at Moorhead’s Matson Field.
Game 1: Moorhead 5-3 Bemidji
The Spuds put up five runs in the fifth inning and held off a late rally by the Lumberjacks to hand Bemidji its third straight loss.
Bemidji starting pitcher Dan Clusiau put together a solid opening stretch to the game, picking up his third strikeout during the second inning while keeping the game scoreless.
Three runners left on base in the opening two innings had been a point of frustration for the Jacks, but they quickly built a threat in the third when Hunter Brodina and Cam Justice both reached with nobody out.
Two batters later, Ben Corradi brought the game’s first run in with a sharp grounder that glanced off Moorhead pitcher Gavin Quade’s leg and allowed Brodina to race home.
Quade managed to continue on the mound for the Spuds, bouncing back from loading the bases by drawing a pop out and groundout to end the inning with Bemidji only up 1-0.
Clausiau permitted two batters to reach base with two out in the fourth, but Ethan Biehn and Corradi combined for a force at third to bring the frame to a close.
Moorhead broke through in the fifth inning after getting a runner aboard with a leadoff walk and moving him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Wyatt Tweet’s pop fly past the shallow infield defense was mishandled on the run in shallow right field and brought the tying run home.
Two batters later, Carson Zimmel ended Clusiau’s afternoon on the mound with a two-run triple that pushed Moorhead in front 3-1.
Another triple–this time from Carter Heinsch–and a double by Brett Letness increased the lead to 5-1 by the end of the inning, backing Quade on his way to a six-inning, winning performance on the mound for the Spuds.
The Lumberjacks gave themselves a last gasp of hope immediately to open the seventh inning. Will Zellman drove a double to the outfield wall to put a runner on base with the first at bat.
Corradi was then hit by a pitch, forcing another pitching change by the Spuds that drew two outs. Clausiau still gave the Lumberjacks a renewed glimmer of hope by plating two runs on a deep double.
A strikeout of Parker Mistic on the ensuing at-bat left the tying run at the plate for the Lumberjacks, sending game one final at 5-3 in favor of Moorhead.
Game 2: Bemidji 5-3 Moorhead
It was the Lumberjacks’ turn to record a five-run inning that proved to be the difference in a reversal of the first game’s result.
Bemidji’s first five batters all reached base thanks to four consecutive hits and a hit batter. Among the base hits, Justice picked up a double that followed Brodina’s leadoff single.
Zellman and Corradi followed with consecutive RBI singles that jumped Bemidji in front 1-0.
Peyton Neadeau brought another run in with an RBI groundout, and both Mistic and Brodina–who was making his second plate appearance of the inning–drew RBI walks that ballooned the lead to 5-0 by the end of the first.
Bemidji starter Ethan Biehn scattered three hits across the first three innings of the game, receiving help from a 6-4-3 double play in the third inning to keep the Spuds off the scoreboard.
Biehn did his part on the mound as well, posting three strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings of work–including one that ended the third inning with runners at the corners.
Moorhead chased Biehn in the fifth by plating three runs on four hits, but Brodina’s second pitching appearance of the afternoon started with a one-pitch groundball out to end the frame and keep the Lumberjacks ahead 5-3. Brodina continued his solid pitching in the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts to close out the inning.
A serious threat to the Lumberjacks’ lead developed quickly in the seventh when Moorhead put runners on the corners with just one out. Ty Lundeen was summoned for a two-out save and the junior promptly delivered back-to-back strikeouts to earn the save and slam the door on the Spuds’ comeback.
Bemidji (10-6) will next travel to Rogers on Friday for a 4:30pm game that can be heard on KBUN-FM 104.5 and Lumberjacks1 at kbunsportsradio.com beginning at 4:15.