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Glenn Pursley, Published July 28 2012

Fergus Falls clips Moorhead Blues

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Fergus Falls has a chance to win the Minnesota American Legion Division I, District 9 title for the fourth year in a row.

Starting shortstop Brady Hanson had a two-run single to lead Fergus Falls to a 7-5 victory over Moorhead on Saturday in the semifinals of the district tournament to make it to today’s championship game.

“I got a pitch left and up and I wanted to hit it hard,” Hanson said. “I wanted to make them make a play and it ended up getting by his glove.”

Hanson’s two-run single in the top of sixth inning drove in Austin Hanson and starting pitcher Peter Gaustad who hit a double to put Hanson in scoring position. Anderson reached on a blooper to left field.

Moorhead rallied twice in the last three innings, posting a pair of four-hit streaks to close the gap on No. 1-seeded Fergus Falls.

Starting pitcher Cody Rahman started the first streak in the sixth inning with a single, ended by Tyson Schoenborn’s RBI single that scored Jared Hendrickson to bring Moorhead within four.

Schoenborn started a second four-hit rally in the eighth inning with a double capped by RBI singles from Brandon Porter and Aaron Wilmer that set the score at 7-5.

Fergus Falls’ explosive fourth inning was started by Luke Heck hitting into a fielder’s choice that allowed Jake Anderson to score, followed by Zach Rengel’s RBI single that drove in Walker Heinen. Heck and Rengel both scored on an error by Moorhead’s first baseman Hendrickson to take a 5-1 lead.

Hanson would tack on two runs in the sixth to secure the victory and a chance at the district title for the fourth year in a row.

“It’s one of those things that for the last few years we’ve been in the same situation,” Fergus Falls head coach Nick Lewis said. “They took one from us and last year I felt that it was kind of my fault. I was up all night saying, ‘let’s just make them make those awkward plays,’ and it worked out in our favor today. It’s great to make it into the championship.”

“I think that we really came together and played as a team,” added Hanson, who led Fergus Falls on offense with two hits and two RBIs.

Fergus Falls will play in the championship game today at 5 p.m. while Moorhead will play in the loser’s bracket at 2 p.m.

If Moorhead wins today, it will get one more stab at Fergus Falls in the championship game.

“I’m proud of our kids and how we fought back,” Moorhead coach Jeff Miller said. “I’m not worried about us coming back (today); we’ll be ready to play. We’ll just have to show up (today) and play hard.”

FF 001 402 000–7 6 1

M 001 002 020–5 10 2

Rahman, Porter (5) and Johnson. Gaustad, Rasmussen (8) and Heinen. W–Gaustad L–Rahman.

Forum reporter Glenn Pursley can be reached at (701) 241-5637.