Baseball: Alexandria ends the week with a bang in Bemidji by winning seventh straight
The Cardinals backed up a sweep against Brainerd on Thursday by going to Bemidji a day later and sweeping a Lumberjacks team that came into the day with just one loss on the season.
The Bemidji High School baseball team was close to earning a win on Friday at Des Sagedahl Field, but Alexandria had the final say in a doubleheader sweep.
In game one, the Lumberjacks forced extra innings thanks to a Peyton Neadeau double and Alex error in the bottom of the sixth inning, tying the game 6-6 to keep their hopes alive. But in the eighth, it was the Cardinals who took charge, scoring on a dropped third strike, error, sacrifice bunt and another error to take a 7-6 lead. Bemidji failed to answer in the bottom of the frame, and Alex took the first game 7-6.
Alexandria's Reed Reisdorf had three hits and four RBIs in that game. Brock Lerfald, Caleb Runge, Lake Hagen and Dayton Downing all added two hits apiece.
In game two, Devin Cimbura shut the Jacks down through six strong innings, allowing just one run and setting the table for the Cardinals to score in five different innings en route to a 6-1 win.
“We just made too many defensive errors,” said BHS head coach Mike Fogelson of the first game. “There were a couple plays they made that we didn't make. I think that was the difference, just defensive kinds of plays.”
In the second half of the double dip, Cimbura’s consistency in the strike zone made it difficult for the Lumberjacks to generate sustained offensive production.
“(He) did a nice job,” Fogelson said of Cimbura. “Strikes win. He threw a lot of strikes, attacked the zone. And I thought our pitching did a pretty good job today, too. But they threw a lot of strikes.”
The doubleheader sweep snapped Bemidji’s six-game winning streak and dropped the Jacks to 6-3 this season.
For the Cardinals, it was their seventh straight win as they rolled to 9-2 on the season. It comes a day after they swept Brainerd in a doubleheader on Thursday.
Alexandria, a Class 3A program in Section 8, now has seven wins against Class 4A opponents in Brainerd, St. Cloud, Sartell-St. Stephen and Bemidji.
The sweep is the first taste of adversity for BHS in a while, but Fogelson has high confidence they’ll handle it appropriately.
“It's just how we respond,” Fogelson said. “We have to focus on where we want to get. It's a process to get there. These guys work really hard at anything. They're going to work hard at this, and we're going to coach hard. So it's up to us all to get that done.”
After Alexandria took a 4-0 lead in the second inning of the first game, Bemidji roared back with five runs in the bottom of the frame. Hunter Brodina, Ben Corradi and Neadeau had run-scoring hits, while Ethan Biehn scored on a passed ball and Parker Mistic contributed an RBI groundout.
The Cardinals retook the lead with a two-run rally in the fourth, and though the Jacks tied it in the sixth, Alex won it in the eighth.
In game two, Cimbura conceded just one hit as BHS struggled to square him up. Ty Lundeen scored Bemidji’s lone run in the second inning on a double-play grounder.
ALEXANDRIA 102 101 1 - 6 9 3
BEMIDJI 010 000 0 - 1 1 2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Devin Cimbura - W, 6IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 5SO; Nick Levasseur - 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Wyatt Mohr - 2-4, 2 2B, 2 runs; Brock Lerfald - 0-1; Matthew Hornstein - 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Caleb Runge - 0-2, BB, 1 run; Lake Hagen - 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Reed Reisdorf - 1-4, 1 run; JD Hennen - 1-3, 1 run; Will Suchy - 0-2; Nate Hammerback - 1-3; Grady Anderson - 2-3, 1 run, RBI
ALEXANDRIA 130 200 01 - 7 15 2
BEMIDJI 050 001 00 - 6 8 2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Will Suchy - 3IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 6BB, 0SO; Spencer Schmidt - 4IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO; Nick Levasseur - 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Jaxon Schoenrock - 3-5, 2B, 1 run, RBI; Grady Anderson - 1 run; Brock Lerfald - 2-4, 2 runs; Caleb Runge - 2-5, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Lake Hagen - 2-3, BB, RBI; Reed Reisdorf - 3-5, 4 RBI; Hennen - 1-5; Nate Hammerback - 0-4; Dayton Downing - 2-4, 2B, 1 run; Augie Gulbranson - 0-2, BB; Devin Cimbura - 0-1