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Eric Peterson, Published July 31 2012

Midseason break ignited Casselton's Legion baseball run

Fargo - Casselton had a mental reset during the middle of this American Legion baseball season.

The team took a week off over the Fourth of July holiday and has been nearly unbeatable since.

Soon after that time off, Post 15 started a

14-game winning streak, which the teams carries into the North Dakota Division II state tournament that starts today in LaMoure.

“It was that nice break and it got us all thinking just differently,” said Ellery Bresnahan, who plays center field and pitches for Casselton.

A two-time defending state champion, Casselton (26-9) plays Wahpeton (39-2) at 11 a.m. today in the opening round of the state tournament. Casselton is making its fifth straight state appearance.

“These kids hold themselves to such a high standard,” said Casselton head coach Logan Midthun, who is in his second season. “They expect to win and they do everything they can to make sure that happens.”

Post 15 went through an uncharacteristic swoon in late June, losing six of eight games. Soon after that rough patch, the team went without playing a game between June 28 and July 8 and took a week off from practice.

“They understood right after the Fourth of July break it was time to ramp it up a little,” Midthun said. “They stepped up to the challenge. We just started playing very good baseball.”

Casselton was in top form at the Region 3 tournament, scoring 54 runs in four games, while allowing 13 runs.

“Everybody is doing what they need to do to get to the next level of winning,” said Bresnahan, who leads the team with 34 stolen bases in 33 games. “It’s really been a lot of team effort.”

Bresnahan, a lefty, has been the staff ace with a 1.45 ERA. Bresnahan has struck out 84 batters in 48Zc innings. Right-handed pitcher Ross Radermacher has missed most of the season with a foot injury. That hurt Casselton’s pitching depth for most of the season.

Radermacher, however, returned for the section tournament. The right-hander is expected to be an important arm for Post 15 at state, even though he’s pitched 11Xc innings all summer.

Midthun said shortstop Ben Sundquist and catcher Josh Roesler have helped ignite the offense late in the season.

Sundquist leads the team with a .443 batting average and 39 RBIs. While Roesler is batting below .300, he’s hit all four of his home runs in recent weeks. Roesler also does a nice job of handling the pitching staff, Midthun said.

“Roesler does a great job calling games behind the plate,” Midthun said. “He’s a cerebral kid. He’s always thinking.”

Defending their state championship again won’t be easy, Bresnahan said.

“A lot of teams would like to knock us off,” said Bresnahan, who leads Post 15 with six home runs. “No one likes it when someone is consecutively winning things. We just have to make sure that we come ready to play every game.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com

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