The Mora Blue Devils amateur baseball team made the long journey north July 7 with first place in the Eastern Minny North to take on the Hibbing Miners. Both teams showed why they are at the top of the standing in the North as the doubleheader was split between the two teams. Hibbing took game one 3-2 and Mora rebounded to gain the split with a 3-1 game two win.
Game one was scoreless until the fourth inning when the Blue Devils broke through with two runs. Michael Humphrey scored on an Adam Burgess ground out followed by an RBI single from Troy Jones bringing in Derek Graves to make it 2-0.
Hibbing answered immediately with two runs in the bottom half of the inning off starter Asa Patterson. Patterson worked out of the jam with no further damage by getting a big strike out.
In the fifth inning Hibbing took the lead which they wouldn’t relinquish. The damage came with two outs as the Miners got a single, stolen base, and a single to bring in the tie breaking run.
The Devils outhit the Miners 9 to 8, but stranded too many runners throughout the game. Patterson took the hard luck loss by going the distance striking out four and walking just one. He scattered eight hits.
Game two was another pitchers duel. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning as Greg Chmiel drove in two runs with a triple to left center field to give Mora a 2-0 lead.
Hibbing did answer back with a run in the sixth inning off starter Derek Graves. But, Graves would slam the door to earn the complete game victory with 10 strikeouts and one walk scattering six hits.
Mora got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning with some stealthy baserunning from Logan Graves. Graves led off the inning with a walk. Michael Humphrey laid down a sacrifice bunt and Graves went all the way to third base on the play. Derek Graves then hit a ground ball to shortstop and Logan Graves scored on the throw to give Mora the final margin of 3-1.
With the split Mora remains in first place with an 8-4 record in league play. Hibbing is now 6-4, followed by Hinckley at 5-5 as the league heads for the regular season home stretch. Mora plays only one game this weekend traveling to Cambridge for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday, July 14 against Rum River at Sandquist Park.