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Aaron Saunders, Published July 27 2012

D-G-F edges Stephen-Argyle, advances to title game

HAWLEY – Pitching and timely hitting are key ingredients for a championship team and Friday night Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton concocted the perfect recipe.

After going down 3-0 in the first inning, D-G-F was able to battle back to win a closely contested American Legion baseball game 6-5 game over the Stephen-Argyle Storm.

“For us to get down three in a big game like this with a lot of meaning on it and comeback, we really showed everybody that we want to go to the states,” said D-G-F coach Allen Krueger. “I am glad it seems like we have the kind of team to be able to spot somebody three runs and come back.”

On the mound D-G-F received a gritty seven-inning performance from pitcher Zach Nelson.

“I started off pretty shaky,” said Nelson who battled back after giving up three runs in the top of the first. “I was a little nervous, but bared down in the end and got the win.

Although Nelson struggled a bit, he got on track and only allowed one earned run the rest of the game.

“He’s a kid who has good stuff for a rookie,” said Krueger. “He has had a chance to pitch a lot of meaningful games this summer which has groomed him and trained him for this game. I knew he would have a big game in the sub-district last week and now he had one in this one today.”

At the plate, D-G-F received big contributions from catcher Shawn Johnson whose lead-off home run in the bottom half of the first inning kicked off the scoring and left fielder Kyle Johnson added a homer over the left-field wall to put D-G-F up 4-3 in the bottom of the third.

“Coming up I knew it was a tied ball game, and I needed to come up with a big hit,” Johnson said. “I just kept my hands back and made a big play for my team.”

With the victory D-G-F punched its ticket to the Division II, District 9 tournament finals and will face the winner of the Stephen Argyle-New York Mills game today.

“We’re confident because we know we have one of the strongest pitching staffs in the league and now we just got to come prepared and play our game,” said Johnson.

If D-G-F wins today, they advance to the Minnesota division II state tournament.

“We had a team back in ’03 that went to state,” Johnson said. “So to be compared to one of the best teams that has ever played here would be good.”

SA 300 110 0–5 6 1

DGF 301 200 x–6 11 3

B.Labine and D. Erickson. Z. Nelson and S. Johnson. W–Nelson. L–Rasprowicz (. HR-D-G-F, S. Johnson, K. Johnson.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Aaron Saunders at (701) 241-5549