An early 3-1 lead for Bemidji baseball was undone by a massive 11-run fourth inning by Sartell as the Sabres took home an 18-6 (F/5) win on a windy Friday afternoon at the BSU Ballpark.
Sartell took the lead with a single run in the top of the first inning, but the inning started with a skillfully executed relay by the Lumberjacks to make the opening out on a play at third.
It did not take long for Bemidji to both tie the game and take the lead. Ty Lundeen’s infield single was enough to knot the game at one in the bottom of the first.
Cam Justice followed later in the inning with a double that propelled Bemidji into the lead, but it came in unusual fashion. During the at bat, the junior was hit on the helmet at close range by Sartell catcher Jackson Vos during a throw to second base on a steal. After a lengthy pause, Justice was able to continue and promptly smacked a two-run double.
Lundeen wrapped up his second inning on the mound with a called strike three to maintain the two-run lead.
Despite doubles from both Ben Corradi–who returned to the lineup Friday after an injury in Thursday’s doubleheader with Grand Rapids–and Dan Clusiau in the second and third innings respectively, the Lumberjacks could not add to their lead any further.
The Sabres did their greatest damage in the top of the fourth inning. A staggering 11 runs were scored in the frame, chasing Lundeen out of the game and capitalizing on the windy conditions for fly balls that carried and drifted into hits of various harm.
Now trailing 12-3, the Lumberjacks scratched out a three-run bottom half of the inning that started with a sacrifice fly by Ethan Biehn.
Justice continued his comeback afternoon from the early blow by hammering a two-run home run to right field that left Bemidji down 12-6 and boosted his RBI count in the game to four.
Despite the Jacks’ small burst, Sartell answered by posting six more runs in the fifth inning and a failure to answer meant the game concluded after just five innings of play on the ten-run rule.
The Lumberjacks drop to 9-5 and will next visit Moorhead for a doubleheader on Tuesday.