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Glenn Pursley, Published August 04 2012

West Fargo, Post 2 to meet in District I title game

MANDAN, N.D. – Risky plays can often lead to trouble, but in West Fargo’s case, the gamble paid off.

West Fargo’s Tyler Bucholz scored on a suicide squeeze play to add a two-run cushion en route to a 6-1 victory over Bismarck in the championship semifinals at the North Dakota District II legion tournament on Saturday.

“We do it quite a bit when we are in that tight situation,” Bucholz said. “We executed it perfectly. The batters gotta protect that runner and we executed really well … you couldn’t have done a better job.”

With a huge lead, Bucholz took off before the pitch and the batter – left fielder Brock Evenson – laid down a spectacular bunt up the third base line as Bucholz crossed the plate to put the Patriots up

3-1.

The risky decision by head coach Bill Ibach propped the doors wide open for West Fargo as it tacked on four insurance runs off of three hits in the top of the eighth inning.

“We’ve done a ton of squeeze actually all year long,” Ibach said. “It’s something we try to do early in the year so we are ready for this kind of situation.”

The game was scoreless through two innings when Bucholz popped out to center field for a sacrifice fly to score starting third baseman Landon Uetz to break the tie with a 1-0 lead.

Andy Young hit one double and pitched a complete game for the Patriots, striking out seven and walking three. Uetz added three hits and drove in two runs.

“We got that first run and knew we were in the game and gave us the momentum to finish,” added Bucholz, who led the Patriots on offense batting 3-for-4 with two RBI.

“This is a huge game,” Ibach said. “It’s huge. It get us to the championship but now we don’t have to play two games to get there. Both teams competed really well.”

Preston Tescher led Bismarck on offense with two hits and hustled out the governors only run when he crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Tyler Richter clubbed a double to send Tescher to third.

With the win, West Fargo stays undefeated in the tournament and will face Fargo Post 2 today at 1 p.m. in the state championship game.

Fargo 16, Bismarck 11

Connor Robley batted 3-for-5 and hit one home run as Matt Schalow tacked on three hits and drove in two runs to lift Fargo to a 16-11 victory after eight innings at the North Dakota Class A state legion baseball tournament on Saturday.

Lincoln Voss drove in four runs off of three hits for Fargo and Robley’s solo home run came in the fifth inning to extend Post 2’s lead to 10-8 after five innings.

Bismarck trailed by as many as five runs, but scored a combined seven runs in two innings to tie the game up at 8-8 after six innings. Preston Tescher led Bismarck on offense with three hits and two RBI while Adam Dill batted 4-for-4.

Fargo will face West Fargo in the state legion championship game today at 1 p.m.

B 000 134 000–11 18 5

F 150 020 08x–16 18 2

Beach, Lindstaedt (5) and Teschendorf. Grothe, Richter (2), Seibel (6) and Tescher. W–Lindstaedt. L–Seibel.

F 222 100 010–8 10 1

W 000 001 100–2 9 6

Howlett, Robley (8) and Teschendorf. Sogard, Lerbakken (8) and Huck. W–Howlett. L–Sogard.

M 100 001 000–2 6 4

F 120 500 10x–9 13 2

Magnuson, Ryan (4), Klassen (4), Quist (7) and Larson. Robley, Beach (8) and Teschendorf. W–Robley. L–Magnuson.

B 000 001 000–2 9 2

WF 001 010 040–6 9 2

Bray, Bohan (8) and Tescher. Young and Bucholz. W–Young. L–Bray.

Grand Forks 3, Minot 2

Minot rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to pile on eight runs off of six hits to defeat Grand Forks 11-10 at the North Dakota Division I American Legion state tournament on Saturday morning.

Nick Moe, who was a perfect 5-for-5 with three RBI, led Grand Forks on offense. Danny Palmiscno and Chaise Anderson each added two hits for the Royals.

This was Minot’s second win in last at-bat in the tournament. Minot posted two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Jamestown to beat them 3-2.

GF 030 411 010–10 13 3

M 020 100 08x–11 11 2

Steen, Kemnitz (8), Mahoney (8) and Palmiscno. Marmon, Klassen (4), Maercklein (6), Howell (8) and Larson. W–Howell. L–Mahoney.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549