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Buzz earn split with Bemidji

Perham's Chayse Solberg makes a diving stop at first base to prevent a single against Bemidji. Submitted photo1 / 4
Perham's Noah Rooney delivers to the plate against Bemidji. Rooney pitched the first five innings to record the victory over the Centaurs. Submitted photo2 / 4
Perham's Michael Benke fires to the plate in the sixth inning of Perham's victory over Bemidji. Benke pitched two innings to record the save in the 4-3 win. Submitted photo3 / 4
Perham's Dawson Stevens tries to avoid the tag at the plate during the first game of a doubleheader split with Bemidji. Submitted photo4 / 4

Noah Rooney pitched five strong innings and helped the Perham Buzz earn a split with the Bemidji Centaurs on July 8 at Krueger Field in Perham.

Rooney held a potent Bemidji line up to two runs before exiting in a 4-3 victory over the Centaurs in game one. The bats came alive in game two for the Centaurs when they earned a 7-4 victory over Perham.

Rooney struck out three and walked five batters, but was able to work out of trouble against a solid line up. He may not have had his best stuff, but was able to limit the damage and keep Perham within reach and in the lead when he exited.

Both teams scored in the first inning when Isaiah Beihn came home on a wild pitch for Bemidji. Perham answered with a Jace Kovash RBI single, scoring Rooney, who led off with a single.

Perham grabbed the lead in the second inning. Michael Benke led off with a single and moved up on a bunt by Chayse Solberg. With two outs, Noah Rooney roped a double, scoring Benke to give the Buzz the 2-1 lead.

Colby Carlson tied the game for the Centaurs with a two-out single, however Grant Declusin was thrown out at third to end the inning, keeping the game tied at two.

Perham grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Carter Mulcahy drew a walk and eventually scored on a single by Benke. However, Dawson Stevens was thrown out on a close play at the plate.

Perham added to its lead in the sixth with a much needed insurance run. Rooney reached on an error and advanced on another error. A ground out moved him to third base and he eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Mulcahy.

Brandon Lussier singled in a run in the seventh, but Benke shut the door with a strikeout and a ground out.

Benke got the save, pitching two innings. He allowed one run on two hits. He struck out two and hit one batter.

Stevens, Jace Kovash and Benke had two hits each in the game, while Rooney added another.

Offense was on full display in game two when both teams combined for eight runs in the first two innings. Lussier scored on an error and he plated a run on an RBI single, giving Bemidji a 2-0 lead.

However, a two-out rally got things going for Perham in the first. Josh Jeziorski cleared the bases with a double to give Perham a 3-2 lead. Benke followed with an RBI double to make it 4-2 after an inning of play.

Bemidji answered right back with a pair of runs in the second on an RBI single by Henry Michalicek and a sac fly from Lussier to make it 4-4.

Lussier settled down on the mound after the first inning and pitched six innings. He allowed four runs on 10 hits. He struck out two and walked one batter. Michalicek drove in three runs, including the eventual game-winning run in the fourth inning. Bemidji added to the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth inning as well.

Maddux Kovash was pinned with the loss. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits. He struck out four, walked one and hit two batters. Alex Stoll pitched an inning of scoreless relief when he retired the Centaurs in order.

Rooney finished with two hits, while Jeziorski had a pair of hits and three runs batted in. Maddux Kovash, Mulcahy, Stevens, Jace Kovash, Benke and Devin Meyer recorded hits in the loss for Perham.

The bats didn't come alive for the Buzz during a doubleheader at East Grand Forks on July 2. The Buzz dropped a 1-0 and a 3-2 decision to East Grand Forks.

Rooney took the loss in game one. He allowed one run on five hits in six innings of work. He struck out six and walked two batters.

Josh Jeziorski and Rooney had the lone hits in the game for Perham in the loss.

East Grand Forks scored a late run for a 3-2 victory in extra innings in game two. Perham finished with six hits in the game.

Jace Kovash had two hits and a run batted in, while Jeziorski drove in the other run. Devin Meyer had two hits while Rooney and Stevens added one each.

Maddux Kovash went five plus and allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out one. Benke took the loss. He allowed one run on four hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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