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By Tom Miller, Published May 24 2009

EDC baseball tournament: Bruins score four in first, capture title

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – So much for “defense wins championships.”

Fargo South shook off four errors by scoring in five of the seven innings en route to a win over Fargo Shanley in the championship game in the East Region baseball tournament on Saturday at Kraft Field.

“Defensively, we’ve played poorly,” South coach Donn Bryant said. “Offensively, though, we’ve really come around. If we continue to hit how we’ve been hitting, we’ll have a great chance (at the state tournament).”

Kyle Kingsley led the way for the Bruins with a home run and three RBIs. South leadoff hitter Justin Fahy was 0-for-2, but managed to score three times.

“We’ve had pretty good battles with South,” Shanley coach Joel Swanson said. “We just couldn’t get any runs across. The key, though, is we get to Jamestown. Hopefully, we got this bad game out of our way and we have three good ones coming at state.”

South scored four times in the first inning and the Bruins never trailed. The Bruins took advantage of two Shanley errors in the inning, then Kingsley knocked in a pair of runs with a double.

The Bruins committed three errors in the bottom of the seventh inning to make things interesting, but Shanley ended the game with two runners on.

South 401 111 0– 8 7 4

Shanley 004 020 0– 6 7 4

W–Noriega. L–Lundberg. HR–SOUTH, Kingsley.

Fargo North 3, West Fargo 2

Fargo North scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat West Fargo in a state-qualifying game.

The Spartans strung together three consecutive extra base hits to grab the lead. Taylor Fiske started the rally with a triple, followed by doubles from Ben Mohr and John Schmidt.

West Fargo grabbed an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the third inning. Eric Benson’s run-scoring triple was followed by a wild pitch.

Jake Nystrom earned the win for North, while Bryce Jorgenson took the loss for the Packers.

West Fargo 002 000 0– 2 5 5

Fargo North 000 012 x– 3 7 1

W–Nystrom. L–Jorgenson.

Devils Lake 5,

Grand Forks Red River 2

Grand Forks Red River coach Mark Varriano referenced the famous baseball words of Wee Willie Keeler to sum up his frustrations in a state-qualifying game against Devils Lake.

“They hit ’em where they ain’t,” Varriano said.

Devils Lake scored two runs on an infield flare in a three-run third inning that sparked the Firebirds to a 5-2 victory over the Roughriders.

The Firebirds qualify for next weekend’s North Dakota state Class A tournament in Jamestown.

With runners on second and third in the decisive third inning, Jared Swenseth slapped a soft fly ball that fell between Red River first baseman Jordan Bancroft and pitcher Matt Lee. Lee scooped up the ball and failed to tag Swenseth. In the meantime, both runners came around to score.

“I honestly thought we were going to get out of that inning without scoring any runs,” Devils Lake coach Jason Wandler said. “Obviously, those turned out to be big runs for us.”

The Devils Lake lead held the rest of the way. The Roughriders’ only threat came in the fourth inning when Dustin Hahn scored on Jake LaDouceur’s double and Red River then loaded the bases.

But Firebirds starter Devin Gathman got Lee to strike out to end the threat.

“We didn’t get the big hits we needed,” Varriano said. “That’s the difference in the game.”

The Roughriders were shorthanded in the tournament with one of its top pitchers, Keith Howe, sidelined with arm trouble. However, Varriano was pleased with Lee’s performance.

“I thought Matt gave us a chance to win,” Varriano said.

GFRR 100 100 0– 2 3 1

DL 103 010 x– 5 7 2

W–Gathman. L–Lee.