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Greg DeVillers, Published June 07 2012

Rams shutout Otters, win 8AA baseball title

CROOKSTON, Minn. – Ben Vatnsdal isn’t used to getting a lot of offensive support. But he knew what to do when the offense rolled.

The right-hander pitched a two-hitter Thursday as Roseau blanked Fergus Falls 11-0 in the championship game of the Minnesota Class 2A high school baseball tournament.

The win snapped Fergus Falls’ run of three consecutive section titles. Roseau (20-5) will make its first trip to the state tournament since 2006, which begins next Thursday in St. Cloud, Minn.

Roseau had scored four or fewer runs in four of Vatnsdal’s previous five starts this season.

“Ben has been our tough-luck pitcher,” Roseau coach Tracey Wensloff said. “When we score five runs, we usually win. (Thursday), he wasn’t the tough-luck guy.”

Instead, Roseau gave Vatnsdal a quick lead with three runs in the bottom of the first.

Leadoff hitter Alex Strand singled on a slow roller to shortstop and scored when Justin Anderson bounced a double off the fence in left-center field. Alex Ziegler and Jeremy Markstrom added run-scoring singles in the inning.

“It’s awesome to get runs like that,” Vatnsdal said. “It’s easier to pitch when you’re ahead and you’re not biting your fingernails all through the game.

“But I wasn’t expecting 11 runs, that’s for sure. It’s a section championship; normally those games are closer.”

FF 000 00 – 0 2 3

R 300 8x – 11 13 0

W–Vatnsdal. L–Hanson.

Loser-out game

FF 003 000 1– 4 5 2

Perham 100 000 0– 1 2 2

W–Gaustad. L–Hein.

DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.