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Chris Aarhus / Forum Communications Co., Published June 02 2012

Beulah tops Grafton for Class B baseball championship

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Dalton Oliger’s not sure what happened, but he chose to swing away instead of executing the suicide squeeze called by Beulah coach Bob Koch.

“It was a miscommunication on our part,” said the senior catcher. “I thought I’d just put a bat on it and find a hole.”

He did exactly that, singling through the hole, and Cam Sadowsky followed with the squeeze to score Casey Duppong as the Miners won the Class B state baseball championship with a 5-3 eight-inning win over Grafton on Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium.

The win marked another championship for Beulah, which topped North Star to win its first state boys basketball title this March in Grand Forks. The Miners last won a prep baseball title in 1956.

B 020 000 12–5 8 3

G 100 002 00– 3 2 4

Nelson, Zacher (7) and Oliger. Villarreal, Suda (6) and Martinson.

W–Zacher (7-0). L–Suda.

HR – G, Joe Demers.

All-tournament team

Trevor Zacher, Brett Koch, Patrick Becker, all of Beulah; Jaime Villarreal, Joseph Demers, Zach Suda, all of Grafton; Justin McCloud, Mark LaCroix, both of Bottineau; Chandler Karna, Lewis & Clark; Kirk Sailer, Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton; Sean Cose, Kindred-Richland; Michael Paulson, Hatton-Northwood.

Third place

Lewis & Clark 4,

Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton 3, 8 innings

Mackenzie Gray’s single dropped into right field to plate Brandin Langan in the eighth inning, and Chandler Karna closed the door in the bottom half as Lewis & Clark captured third place over Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton.

“I’m ecstatic with top three, and I’m not shocked either,” Lewis & Clark coach Brian Nelson said. “We used to lose the first two games of our region tournament and here we are, third place. I’m so happy for our seniors. ... They bought into our system.”

Adam Birdsall and Karna led off with base hits in the fourth inning and were driven in by Tristan Gray’s single in the left-center field gap. Jordan Nelson scored on an error in the seventh for Lewis & Clark’s third run. Mackenzie Gray and Tristan Gray each had two hits.

Birdsall started on the hill and was in line for the win until Karna, in relief, surrendered a two-run single to Kirk Sailer in the bottom of the seventh to send it to extra innings.

Karna (6-1) got his second win of the tournament, pitching four innings. He gave up just three earned runs in 11 innings of tournament work.

Cardinals starter Evan Eberle (5-2) took his second loss of the weekend, giving up two runs in relief of starter Kirk Sailer.

LC 000 200 11–4 10 2

WWCS 000 010 20–3 6 4

Birdsall, Karna (5) and Gray. Sailer, Evan Eberle (6) and Henke.

W–Karna (6-1); L–Eberle (5-2).

Fifth place

Bottineau 5,

Kindred-Richland 1

Bottineau’s Justin McCloud and Mark LaCroix capped their heralded high school careers by combining on a one-run, five-hit performance from the mound to claim fifth-place honors.

LaCroix (8-1) went the first five innings, allowing three hits and a run in the fourth inning on a Casey Reinke RBI single. McCloud finished the final two innings to help the Braves pitching staff end the state tournament with 19 scoreless innings in three games, including nine by McCloud.

The top of Bottineau’s lineup did most of the heavy lifting against Kindred-Richland ace Nick Milbrandt. Leadoff Andrew Hill lined the first pitch of the game into right field and Justin McCloud added an RBI double to follow. He also plated Hill with a double in the third inning to help take a 4-0 lead.

B 202 100 0 - 5 9 0

KR 000 100 0 - 1 5 1

LaCroix, McCloud (6) and Hill, LaCroix (6). Milbrandt, Cose (4) and Nelson. W–LaCroix (8-1). L–Milbrandt (5-2).

Seventh place

Carrington 1,

Hatton-Northwood 0

Logan Clifton doesn’t like the designation that comes with taking eighth place at a state tournament.

“It looks like you don’t belong here,” he said.

The Carrington junior did his part, twirling a four-hit complete-game shutout in a seventh-place game between two teams that struggled offensively the entire tournament.

Carrington scored just two runs in the tournament, while Hatton-Northwood managed one.

C 010 000 0–1 6 1

HN 000 000 0–0 4 2

Clifton and Rosenau. Paulson and Sherva. W-Clifton (5-2). L-Paulson (5-1).

Aarhus writes for the Jamestown Sun