A taxed Post 15 team drops two against rested Bemidji

Detroit Lakes plays bravely with limited pitching in the fifth and sixth games of the past three days.

JD Kondos slides back safely under the tag of Detroit Lakes third baseman Jacob Thomas during a Centaurs' 9-5 victory in the opening game of an American Legion doubleheader at Washington Park. Kondos also earned the victory pitching a complete game. Robert Williams / Tribune

Four road wins in two days to claim the Valley City tournament title came at a price for Detroit Lakes Post 15 in a home doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Bemidji Centaurs in American Legion baseball at Washington Park Monday, June 28.

Bemidji won by scores of 9-5 and 8-4.

Detroit Lakes head coach Phil Kirchner had to shift a few players around in the field to accommodate recent injuries and went to the hill with fresh faces on the mound in light of a worn out regular starting rotation.

After a five-run Bemidji second inning in the opener, Detroit Lakes stayed in the game with single runs in the bottom half of the second and third frames.

Jacob Thomas scored on a Kyler Johnston sacrifice fly and Grady Kirchner tallied from third base on a Jordan Tucker double.


A pair of runs by the visitors in the fourth and fifth innings gave Bemidji starter JD Kondos a 9-2 cushion.

Kondos was working on a two-hitter until DL finally got to him in the sixth inning.

Tucker started a three-run rally with his second extra base hit of the game, a triple over the outstretched glove of Bemidji right fielder Aaron Heger in the right-center power alley.

Tucker made third base standing up and scored on a second-pitch Thomas single to right.

Zach Oistad singled and advanced to second on a Johnston base hit that brought Thomas home to cut the lead to 9-4.

Oistad moved to third base on a fielder’s choice and scored DL’s final run on an error.

Kondos threw a complete game, six-hitter. Three of DL’s runs were unearned. He did not record a strikeout and walked just one batter.

DL starter Cade Jackson had a stiff challenge in his debut start in a fill-in role. He pitched six innings and allowed nine runs, eating up needed innings for his team.


Grady Kirchner was another rare face on the mound. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, working around a pair of walks with a strikeout.

LEGION 2.jpg
After a long and successful tournament weekend, Post 15 players like Grady Kirchner had to make spot-fill efforts on the mound to keep pace with the one-loss Bemidji Centaurs in Detroit Lakes’ sixth baseball game in three days Monday, June 28, 2021, at Washington Park. Robert Williams / Tribune

Bemidji 7, Detroit Lakes 4

Post 15 led just once in the two games.

Oistad broke open a 3-3 tie in the nightcap with a fifth inning single to score Tucker with two outs.

DL starter Logan Lund pitched into the sixth inning before giving way to Andrew Kulik with two outs after walks loaded the bases.

Lund was an effective starter on this spring’s Laker high school team, but has not been a regular on the mound this summer.

Kulik lost Isaiah Biehn on five pitches to walk in the tying run, but got out of the jam getting Parker Mistic to fly out to Tucker in center.


The game knotted at 4-4 until Bemidji scored three times in the seventh on a double, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to earn the sweep.

Centaurs starter Heger only allowed one baserunner in the final two innings to finish off a complete game with six strikeouts.

Lund also fanned six batters in 5.2 innings. He allowed four runs, only one earned. Kulik took the loss in 1.1 innings of relief. He recorded one strikeout.

Bemidji improved to 10-1 on the season. DL dropped to 12-8 with one day off before hosting Thief River Falls Post 117 for two games Wednesday, June 30, at Washington Park. Thief River Falls is 0-9 after a pair of losses to Bemidji 14-3 and 8-2 last week.

Detroit Lakes expects the top of the pitching rotation to be back in order for both games.

Jacob Thomas will get one of the starts looking for his fifth consecutive victory on the hill.

Post 15 has a pair of weekend games. The annual alumni game is Saturday, July 3, at 3 p.m. DL hosts Frazee in a night game on the Fourth of July. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Bemidji 9, Detroit Lakes 5


BEM 050 220 0 - 9 12 4

DET 011 003 0 - 5 6 0

WP: JD Kondos; LP: Cade Jackson

Bemidji 7, Detroit Lakes 4

BEM 200 101 3 - 7 7 2

DET 010 210 0 - 4 7 2

WP: Aaron Heger; LP: Andrew Kulik


Read more stories by Robert Williams here .

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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