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B.E. Area fends off Maple River in season-opening baseball

MINNESOTA LAKE — Blue Earth Area closer Hunter Bleess notched his seventh strikeout of the season opener with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to preserve the Bucs’ 10-9 baseball victory over the Maple River Eagles on Tuesday.

Bleess worked around two Bucs’ errors that allowed two Eagles’ runs to cross the plate in the home team’s final at-bat of regulation.

Bleess allowed four runs — only two earned — on three hits and walked two in three innings of relief to earn the save.

Koby Nagel gave up one unearned run in 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief of starting pitcher Keagan O’Brien to net the win for BEA. Nagel struck out five and issued three walks.

The Bucs combined three walks, three of the Eagles’ six errors and Nagel’s RBI single to pounce to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Karson Legred, Luke Mertens and Nagel each collected two hits to top BEA’s offense, with Mertens and Nagel generating two runs apiece and Legred scoring once. Mertens also doubled.

Luke Carr produced an RBI single for the Bucs, O’Brien singled, Brayden Barnett tallied two RBIs via a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring groundout, while Gavin Storbeck walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Bleess walked twice and scored a run, while Caelan Sanders added a walk and a run scored.

Austin Yokiel went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored to top Maple River, Caden Ochsendorf went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, while Ryley Fischer chipped in a two-run double.

Yokiel allowed four unearned runs on one hit, walked three and struck out one in 2/3s of an inning pitched to take the loss.

Blue Earth Area (1-0) plays host to Worthington at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fairgrounds Fields in Blue Earth.

BEA 402 121 0 — 10 8 3

MR 103 102 2 — 9 7 6

Keagan O’Brien, Koby Nagel (3, WP), Hunter Bleess (5, Sv) and Karson Legred. Austin Yokiel (LP), Joe Bennett (1), Jared Latusek (6) and Caden Ochsendorf.

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