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Chris Aarhus / Forum Communications Co., Published May 31 2012

Defending champ ousted at Class B baseball tourney

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Chandler Karna threw a wrench into Kindred-Richland’s plans of repeating as state champion.

The Lewis & Clark senior scattered five hits across seven innings, outdueling Vikings ace Nick Milbrandt in a 2-1 victory in quarterfinal action of the North Dakota Class B state baseball tournament Thursday at Jack Brown Stadium.

“We just want to prove that we’re a good team,” Karna said. “We knew we had to beat the best to get some respect.”

Lewis & Clark (14-4), a consolidated district made up of Berthold and North Shore High Schools, advances to the semifinals where it meets Beulah at about 7 p.m. today. Kindred-Richland (18-10) plays Carrington in consolation action at around 2 p.m.

“This is an awesome feeling,” Karna said. “I never experienced this in baseball.”

Against the Vikings, Karna was nearly untouchable. He allowed just two hits and walked one until the sixth inning when Kindred finally scraped together its only run on a Milbrandt RBI single. He finished with one run allowed on five hits, walking one and striking out seven.

LC 002 000 0– 2 3 1

KR 000 001 0– 1 5 3

Karna and Gray. Milbrandt and Nelson. W–Karna (5-1). L–Milbrandt (5-1).

Grafton 3,

Hatton-Northwood 1

Zach Suda generated offense and controversy with one swing Thursday at the North Dakota Class B state baseball tournament.

The Grafton senior crushed a high fastball that was eventually ruled a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to lift the Spoilers to a 3-1 win over Hatton-Northwood in the opening round at Jack Brown Stadium.

Grafton (17-9) squares off against Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton in today’s semifinals.

After hitting an obstruction, the ball bounced back into center field. In question is what obstruction the ball hit. Hatton-Northwood coach Chad Omdahl said it hit toward the top of the fence, while the officials ruled it a home run after a short conference because they saw it strike a light pole, ricochet down onto the fence and bounce into center.

“Just by the angle, there’s no way it came off the pole,” Omdahl said.

Still, Omdahl acknowledged what would have happened had he gotten his way. Suda would have been rewarded with an RBI triple, and Joe Demers’ single would have brought him in anyway.

“It didn’t make a difference,” Omdahl said. “If we could have had better quality at-bats with runners in (scoring) position, that would have made a difference.”

HN 000 010 0– 1 4 1

G 000 120 x– 3 4 4

Olson and Sherva. Villarreal and Martinson. W–Villarreal (6-3). L–Olson (4-1). HR–G, Suda.

Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton 4,

Bottineau 3

The seventh inning dealt Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton a win and Bottineau more heartbreak.

Trailing 1-0 after six, the Cardinals scored four runs in the seventh, and Bottineau lost in the opening round of the Class B state tournament for the third year in a row.

“This one really hurts,” Bottineau coach Nate Simpson said. “We had the game in hand and we didn’t execute.”

WWCS struggled the first six innings against Bottineau senior pitcher Mark LaCroix, who had thrown just 66 pitches and faced the minimum 18 batters. LaCroix gave up two earned on five hits in the complete-game effort. He struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter.

But WWCS put a rally together and forced LaCroix to throw 36 pitches in a seventh inning that saw the Cardinals get four of their five total hits.

“We knew we had to get it done,” Washburn senior pitcher Kirk Sailer said. “(Bottineau) was playing some really good baseball, and it took some dropped balls. We knew we had to get the bats going.”

WWCS 000 000 4– 4 5 4

B 000 100 2– 3 4 2

Sailer and Henke. LaCroix and Hill. W–Sailer (6-0). L–LaCroix (7-1).

Beulah 8, Carrington 1

Beulah’s quick-strike offense put Carrington in a big hole.

The Miners scored four runs in the first and three more in the third en route to a victory in opening-round action Thursday at Jack Brown Stadium. It’s the first time at state for both teams.

“Since it’s the first time we made it, it feels good getting that first win,” Beulah junior Brett Koch said.

Carrington starting pitcher Scott Engelhorn struggled early, walking Karson Hintz and Tanner Dolbec to start the game. Patrick Becker followed with a double to get the Miners out to a 2-0 lead. Beulah’s Casey Duppong walked and scored on an error, and Erik Ham singled in Becker.

B 403 001 0– 8 8 1

C 100 000 0– 1 3 1

Zacher and Oliger. Engelhorn, Hewitt (6) and Rosenau. W–Zacher (6-0). L–Engelhorn (4-2).

Aarhus writes for The Jamestown Sun