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Aaron Saunders , Published July 11 2012

West Fargo, Fargo split American Legion doubleheader

FARGO – For 12 of the 14 innings played Wednesday night at Jack Williams Stadium, Fargo Post 2 was behind.

But that all changed when the Post 2 designated hitter Jon Nygaard smacked an RBI single to center field to even the score in the second game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader against the West Fargo Patriots.

Later in the inning, Matt Schalow belted an RBI single to left field to put Post 2 in front for a 6-5 victory.

West Fargo won the first game 7-1.

“The hit felt pretty good. I knew it was going to get down,” Nygaard said of his two-out equalizer. “That’s where you want to be as a hitter, so it was kind of good to see it fall and see that run cross the plate.”

Post 2 head coach Jim Rustad said Nygaard is no stranger to late-inning heroics this season.

“I think he has had three or four hits this summer already where he has given us the lead late,” Rustad said. “He’s no stranger to that situation and he’s a guy I like seeing there and he came up big for us again tonight.”

With the win in Game 2 of the doubleheader, Post 2 logged victory number 21 on the season.

“It’s a big victory, just to come away with the split. West Fargo is the first-place team,” Rustad said. “Beating them is also a big confidence boost to know that we can compete with them on a daily basis.”

Not only is the victory important for the team in the standings, it is also important for bragging rights for these rivals.

“It’s always good to beat your rival,” said Rustad, who has played for and coached with West Fargo head coach Bill Ibach. “I wouldn’t even have a baseball coaching job if it wasn’t for him. He was one of my coaches growing up, and I coached with him, and he’s a great guy.”

Rustad shouldn’t feel too sorry for his former coach, as the West Fargo Patriots flexed their muscles in Game 1, pounding out seven runs on six hits.

Tucker Bucholz led the Patriots with three hits and four RBIs, including a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to put the exclamation point on the victory.

Bucholz finished the doubleheader with six hits.

“It was Tucker’s first game back from a sprained ankle, and he kind of picked up where he left off hitting the ball,” Ibach said. “He’s been leading us all season and he led us today.”

WF 240 000 1– 7 6 4

F 100 000 0– 1 7 3

Dahl and Bruenjes. Howlett and Hallock. W–Dahl. L–Howlett. HR–WF, Bucholz.

WF 120 200 0– 5 8 2

F 030 102 x– 6 9 2

Bonnema and Bruenjes. Salentine and Hallock. W–Salentine. L–Bonnema. HR–WF, Young.

Forum reporter Aaron Saunders can be reached at (701) 241-5549

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