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Tom Mix, Published May 13 2013

Packers and Spartans split EDC baseball doubleheader

WEST FARGO – Monday’s start for West Fargo senior pitcher Camran Bonnema wasn’t his best of the year, but it was enough to keep the Packers undefeated in conference play.

Bonnema struck out eight batters in 4 Xc innings in West Fargo’s 7-2 Eastern Dakota Conference victory over Fargo North at Veteran’s Field. North rallied to defeat the Packers 9-8 in the second game of a doubleheader, but the opener was the game that counted in the conference standings.

“Camran admitted he did not have his best stuff, but he battled and got the job done,” West Fargo head coach Brett Peterson said. “That’s what leaders do and that is what we expect out of him each time he takes the mound.”

Fargo North jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Carter Thompson and Seth Tollefson led off the game with back-to-back doubles.

After giving up the pair of doubles, Bonnema retired 14 of the next 18 batters he faced, before abruptly leaving the game with back pain.

“It was one of my not-so- great starts,” Bonnema said. “It took me awhile to settle down, but I did what I could to keep the team in the game.”

After the doubleheader, Bonnema said he was feeling better after trainers iced and re-aligned his back.

Peterson said Bonnema will start in West Fargo’s EDC finale with Wahpeton on Saturday.

West Fargo (12-2, 6-0 EDC) answered North with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and knocked North’s starter Matt Connelly out of the game after only two-thirds of an inning.

The Packers added three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Senior shortstop Ben Huber connected for a two-run single during the third that put the Packers up 6-1.

Huber was a combined 4-for-6 during the doubleheader, which including a towering home run that hit a light pole in left field during the second game.

“He is playing fantastic,” Peterson said of Huber. “He has been one of most consistent hitters for us this year and is doing a good job at shortstop. He is a guy you can play anywhere, but he has solidified that shortstop position this year.”

North fell behind 6-2 after the first two innings of the second game, but scored six runs in the final three innings, including a three-run seventh to go ahead 9-7.

Charlie Cardwell was 2-for-3 with a home run and double for the Spartans (10-5, 3-3).

“It was a good win for us because we came back and scored some runs,” North head coach Jeff Fiechtner said. “We gave them three runs in the first two innings and that is hard to come back from. We competed at the end and were able to turn it around.”

FN 100 000 1 – 2 8 1

WF 303 001 x – 7 8 1

Connelly, Boutain (1), Roman (3) and Mehlhoff. Bonnema, Barclay (5) and Bruenjes. W–Bonnema. L–Connelly. S–Barclay.

FN 111 021 3 – 9 11 3

WF 330 010 1 – 8 7 0

Grieve, Thompson (1), Rider (4), Anderson (7) and Mehlhoff. Peterson, Benson (6), Paper (7). W–Rider. L–Paper. S–Anderson. HR–Huber, Cardwell.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562