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Norman County falls in eighth inning in Minnesota Section 8 baseball championship

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BEMIDJI, Minn. – Red Lake County used the suicide squeeze to its advantage perfectly in Friday afternoon’s Class A, Section 8 championship game at Bemidji State.

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The Rebels had scored on a squeeze play in the sixth inning to tie Norman County 1-1 and push the game to extras.

In the bottom of the eighth, it looked like the Rebels again had the perfect opportunity to squeeze – nobody out, runners at the corners and Wyatt Casavan at the plate.

Red Lake County coach Chris Nelson had other ideas.

“Their coach came out and started talking to their pitcher but coach looked right at me and said, ‘You’re not going to squeeze, you’re going to hit,’” Casavan said. “I just waited until I got one and hit it.”

With the Norman County first and third basemen practically standing in the batters’ box – closer to Casavan than pitcher Ryan Olson was – Casavan knocked a 1-2 fastball into the gap in deep left-center, scoring Zack Landman and giving the Rebels a 2-1 walk-off victory.

The Rebels (20-5) will return to the Class A tournament for the first time since 2011, when they lost to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in the third-place game.

The Wildcats (22-5) had routed RLC 9-2 Thursday night to force a deciding winner-take-all title game Friday.

NC 000 001 00–1 3 0

RLC 000 001 01–2 9 1

NC-Lindell, Olson and Kappes. RLC-Brevik and Casavan. W–Brevik. L–Olson.

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