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Published May 26 2012

Packers top Deacons in extra innings for EDC title

FARGO – Once the ball left Tucker Bucholz’s bat, he was unsure of how good it was.

He knew it was good enough for a hit. It was also good enough to drive in the game-winning run, helping top seed West Fargo to a 3-2 win in eight innings over sixth-seeded Fargo Shanley in the Eastern Dakota Conference baseball tournament championship on Saturday at Bennett Elementary.

“It was just like any at-bat,” Buchholz said. “There were runners on first and second. No pressure and I just went up there and did my job.”

West Fargo (30-5) is now two-thirds of the way through its revenge tour.

The Packers lost in last season’s EDC tournament and made up for it by winning it this year, beating Shanley in the process.

Shanley (15-11) pulled off the rare feat of beating West Fargo twice this year. The Deacons almost did it a third time, taking a 1-0 lead in the third before the Packers’ Andy Young hit a two-run homer for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.

For Young, the conference’s senior of the year, it was his third home run in his last six at-bats. West Fargo appeared to have the win in its clutches before Shanley tied it 2-2 in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Nick Salentine.

“I mean that was just a fun game,” said Shanley coach Joel Swenson. “There are games you win by 15 or 20, but then there are games that remind you why you play. This was one of them.”

Both starters went seven innings until West Fargo brought in Landon Uetz, who pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Uetz led off the bottom of the eighth with a double off of Shanley starter Joseph Hallock, who pitched all eight innings.

Hallock issued an intentional pass to Young before Bucholz brought the game to a close.

“We had a little bit of a revenge factor, but that was a good team,” said Packers coach Brett Peterson. “It was good for us to be in a tight game and show character. I tell you, Shanley played well. It was one of those games no one deserved to lose.”

FS 001 000 10– 2 6 3

WF 002 000 01– 3 9 0

Bonnema, Uetz (8) and Bucholz. Hallock and Widmer. W–Uetz. L–Hallock.

EDC All-Conference Team

WEST FARGO: Andy Young, Sr.; Tucker Buchholz, Sr., Zach Stecker, Sr.; Brock Evanson, Sr., Kory Wolden, Jr.

GRAND FORKS RED RIVER: Mitch Anderson, Sr.; Taylor Steen, Sr., Dylan Dufault, Jr., Zach Mahoney, Jr.

FARGO NORTH: Connor Robley, Sr.; Nate Walsh, Sr.

FARGO DAVIES: Casey Quinlan, Jr.; Ryan Smith, Jr.

WAHPETON: Tyler Gripentrog, Jr.

FARGO SHANLEY: Nick Salentine, Sr.; Jake Salentine, So.

FARGO SOUTH: Aaron Green, Jr.

GRAND FORKS CENTRAL: Nick Moe, Sr.

SENIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andy Young, West Fargo.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Jeff Fiechtner, Fargo North.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com