Legion baseball: Bemidji's 10th-inning walk-off highlights doubleheader sweep over Post 15
The Bemidji Centaurs walked-off the Detroit Lakes Legion baseball team in the 10th inning to win the first of two games in their doubleheader sweep on Tuesday night.
BEMIDJI – When a team plays a doubleheader, it’ll already be stretched somewhat thin by playing two games in one day.
When one of those games goes into extra innings, finishing the twin bill becomes an even more daunting task.
In those situations, it’s especially helpful to have the services of a player like Hunter Brodina. And the Bemidji American Legion baseball team was indeed very happy to have Brodina in tow on Tuesday against Detroit Lakes at the BSU baseball field.
Brodina played right field and then pitched all three extra innings in the first game of the Centaurs’ double dip with DL. In game two, he played second base and drew two walks. Those versatile contributions helped the Centaurs win both games – a 6-5, 10-inning walk-off in the first and a traditional 5-2 victory in the second.
“Today is one of those tough days where we had one of those random four-day breaks that we don't get a lot of in the summer,” Bemidji head coach Nate Blumhagen said. “We did have a nice practice yesterday, but it just takes a little while for things to get going again. (They hadn’t) seen a live pitch in a few days when it seems like we've been going every day here for the last month, so it was good to piece it together.”
Brodina is a player who has to be prepared for anything given his utility role, but even he felt the effects of the long layoff.
“Especially hitting-wise, if you're not hitting consistently, then you'll be off your game and you won't see the ball as well,” Brodina said. “But if you go to the hitting facility and keep hitting off the tee, then you'll be fine.”
He was also just fine on the mound, setting down Detroit Lakes nearly in order in the first game. Relieving Ty Lundeen, who pitched the game’s first seven innings, Brodina kept the Centaurs in prime position for a walk-off with three scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and striking out three.
That set the stage for Brodina’s teammates to come through in the bottom of the 10th. After Ben Corradi led off the inning by reaching on a dropped third strike, Dan Clusiau doubled Corradi to third. Lundeen then hit a walk-off sacrifice fly, ensuring Bemidji had a win to validate Brodina’s performance.
“I'm just prepared for whatever position I play,” Brodina said. “I know that going into every day, I have no clue what position I'm going to play until the lineup’s written. So (the key is to) just be ready for that.”
Sawyer Nendick backed up Brodina in the second game, tossing a complete game to earn the win. Nendick pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits.
The Centaurs’ offense, traditionally one of their biggest calling cards, didn’t have an otherworldly day at the plate. But thanks to consistent, complementary play in the field, Bemidji (10-3-1) still finished the day with two wins.
“We made enough plays on defense,” Blumhagen said. “We made the plays that we had to. They're a really aggressive team on the bases, so we got to give them credit for that. They create a lot of chaos, and they have a lot of guys that can really move. So we knew that they were going to score some runs, and just to limit some damage and do enough was good baseball (for us).”
The Centaurs return to the field against East Grand Forks for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, in EGF.