Bemidji baseball avenged its extra-inning loss to Elk River exactly a week earlier by defeating the visiting Elks 8-5 in head coach Mike Fogelson’s record-setting 255th victory as Lumberjack head coach on Monday at the BSU Ballpark.
The win took Fogelson past legendary BHS coach Des Sagedahl for the most coaching victories in the history of the school’s baseball program–a mark reached in his 18th season as head coach. Beyond the milestone, the triumph also served as an important section win in the final week of the regular season.
Elk River plated the game’s opening run with a wild pitch in the top of the first inning, but Bemidji answered by posting three runs in the home half of the frame. Ty Lundeen gave the Jacks the lead by lacing a two-run single with the bases loaded.
Catcher Ryan Loewe added to the early lead with an RBI single of his own to plate the Lumberjacks’ third run.
On the mound, Dan Clusiau settled in with a growing strikeout total that he added to at the conclusion of the top of the second.
Loewe supported his pitcher by throwing out an Elks runner attempting to take second before Clusiau later struck out the side in the fourth to keep the Jacks ahead by two.
Bemidji used small ball to pick up another run in the fourth through a squeeze bunt by Hunter Brodina that scored Peyton Neadeau coming home from third base.
But Elk River found a reply under confusing circumstances in the fifth inning, bringing a runner home after Clusiau was ruled to have interfered during a rundown on the basepaths.
The Lumberjacks shook off the incident by putting up three runs in the bottom of the fifth, starting with a double off the wall by Ethan Biehn and later an RBI single from Neadeau.
Just as Neadeau had brought in a runner with the bases loaded, Landon Hanson plated a pair when he stepped up with three aboard later in the inning.
Bemidji’s 7-2 lead was quickly slimmed down to just a two-run edge when the Elks put up three runs in the sixth using a two-out rally.
While Peyton Neadeau took over for Clusiau on the mound to work a harmless four-out save, Lundeen brought some extra backing when he clouted a solo home run to left-center in the sixth.
The Jacks (13-4) have won three straight games and will next host another Section 8AAAA rival St. Cloud for Senior Day on Tuesday afternoon at 4:30pm. Pregame is scheduled for 4:15 on The BUN Sportsradio 104.5 and Lumberjacks1 online.