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Glenn Pursley, Published June 07 2013

Moorhead trades shutouts with Jamestown in season-opening doubleheader

MOORHEAD – The Moorhead Blues began their American Legion baseball season Friday, welcoming a new head coach and a fresh roster of starters.

After five years as the assistant coach, Bryant Bergeson is taking the reins as head coach of the Blues, replacing Jeff Miller, who coached the team for nine seasons.

“It’s been a pretty smooth transition,” Bergeson said. “It’s been different because we have a lot of new faces this year, but they are getting the hang of what we do and how we do it.”

The Blues lost 10 players from last year’s team due to high school graduation. They return only two starters in Brandon Weiser and Michael Weisman. Weiser – the Blues only collegiate athlete – starts at second base and Weisman spends most of his playing time at designated hitter and third base.

“(Weisman) didn’t get many at-bats last year, but he’s really worked on that this offseason,” Bergeson said. “He’s going to be our cleanup hitter this year, and we are going to expect big things from him.”

In Game 1 of a Minnesota American Legion doubleheader Friday, Bergeson’s expectations were met.

Weisman drove in the only run with a double to lift the Blues to a 1-0 win over Jamestown in the season opener at Matson Field.

The Blues lost the second game 7-0 and had just three hits.

“It feels nice,” Weisman said of his go-ahead hit. “It wasn’t the prettiest hit, but that’s baseball. Put the ball in play and good things happen. I thought we played well, but as soon as the bats get going we’ll be set.”

A new coach and a different roster aren’t the only changes the Blues are dealing with this season.

Due to district realignment, Alexandria and Bemidji will join the Blues in District 9 and Crookston will no longer be in it.

“We add a few big guns to the district, so it’s going to be a lot more difficult,” Bergeson said. “But we just want to improve every game. If we can do that I’ll be happy.”

J 000 000 0–0 2 1

M 100 000 0–1 2 0

Gebhardt and Hogan. Kraitor and Skjefte. W–Kraitor (1-0). L–Gebhardt (0-1).

J 220 102 0–7 9 1

M 000 000 0–0 3 1

Ukestad and Gebhardt. Eidsness, England (5) and Oberg. W–Ukestad (1-0). L–Eidsness (0-1). HR-J, Wagner 1 (1).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549