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Scooter Pursley / Special to The Forum, Published July 29 2010

American Legion Class A state tournament: Dahl, Jorgenson lead Pats

BISMARCK – Tanner Dahl just pitched. Bryce Jorgenson just hit. Together, the West Fargo duo battered Williston Thursday in the first round of the North Dakota Class A American Legion Baseball state tournament.

Dahl struck out 11, walked two and scattered nine hits – all but one a single – as the Patriots beat the Keybirds 10-4. He allowed just three runs, two of those earned.

Dahl was lifted after 130 pitches to start the eighth inning and Karson Mapes pitched two innings to get the save.

Jorgenson, the designated hitter, went 4-for-5 with three doubles, two runs scored and four RBIs. He hit two balls off the fence in spacious Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.

“He’s been an RBI guy, but this is one of his better games. He picked a good time to have it,” West Fargo coach Bill Ibach said.

Jorgenson doubled off the fence in the second and later scored on an error as West Fargo took a 2-0 lead. He hustled out a run-scoring double in the third and singled and scored in the fifth to give Dahl a 5-2 lead. Jorgenson’s two-run double in the sixth inning chased Williston starter and losing pitcher CJ Vinger.

Jorgenson said Vinger’s control problem was a big part of his day. “It was always the same thing, he got behind and had to throw a fastball down the middle,” Jorgenson said.

“It was fun,” Jorgenson added. “We had 11 hits, so it was a great all-around team game.”

Vinger gave up eight hits, walked five and allowed eight earned runs.

All that benefitted Dahl.

“Our bats were really hot today and that helps a lot,” Dahl said. “I just went out there and threw strikes. I just tried not to give them too many good pitches.”

Dahl was chosen to start the tourney opener to give him more recovery time for work later on, Ibach said.

“I wrestled with that because Matt (Strahm) had done well against Williston,” Ibach said. “It wasn’t an easy decision.”

Backed by Jorgenson and the Patriots’ 11-hit attack, Dahl settled into a groove and threw strikes. He was in trouble once, working out of a bases-loaded jam with a 3-2 lead in the first inning.

Shortstop Cole Mapes had one of the Patriots’ five extra-base hits and scored three runs. Right fielder Chance Bitzer drove in two runs, scored twice and stole three bases.

Center fielder Eric Benson had two hits, including a triple.

First baseman Jeff Beckman and third baseman Alex Hanson had three hits each for the Keybirds, while leadoff hitter Austin Grundstad scored three runs.

Ibach called it a good tournament opener. “It’s all about having a ‘W’ after the day is done no matter what happens and then move on to the next day.”

Williston 001 011 001– 4 11 2

West Fargo 021 023 01x–10 11 2

CJ Vinger, Austin Grundstad (6), Marcus Fearing (7) and Oliver Sogard. Tanner Dahl, Karson Mapes (8) and Tucker Bucholz. W–Dahl. L–Vinger. S–Mapes.