Chris Murphy, Published May 25 2013
West Fargo makes it back to back East Region baseball championshipsFARGO – Don’t tell West Fargo’s baseball team that Saturday’s East Region championship game against Fargo Shanley didn’t mean anything just because both teams had already clinched a trip to state.
For the Packers, the 4-1 win meant they were region champions in back-to-back seasons, despite losing 11 seniors – nine of which played regularly – from last year’s squad.
“It means something,” West Fargo coach Brett Peterson said. “It’s a big deal for both teams and I thought both teams played the game like it should have been. It was a hard-fought game and we just ended up getting a couple timely hits in the later stages of the game and that ended up proving to be the difference.”
One of those big hits came from Matt Barclay in the bottom of the third inning. After a fielder’s choice off the bat of Devin Wagenman tied the game up at 1-1, Camran Bonnema singled to put runners on first and second with two outs. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and then both scored on a Barclay single laced into left field to put the Packers up 3-1.
Barclay was a little upset over the fact he was thrown out by a mile trying to stretch the single into a double, but the Packers were more than happy to take the lead, which they never relinquished.
“I really shouldn’t have gone for two,” Barclay said. “This was big. We wanted to play our hearts out for this game and we did.”
Wagenman made it a 4-1 Packers lead with a double in the bottom of the fifth that scored Kory Wolden. A three-run lead was more than enough for the Packers pitching staff, as Barclay, Noah Paper and Adam Schroeder combined for six strikeouts and one earned run on three hits and just one walk in seven innings.
“Our three guys attacked the zone and we got ahead in the count, which was huge,” Peterson said.
After Tom George’s two-out double scored Lincoln Voss to put Shanley up 1-0 in the top of the first, West Fargo (20-3) allowed one hit the rest of the game. After Barclay allowed a walk with one out in the top of the third, Paper retired eight of the nine batters he faced and Schroeder locked down his second save, striking out four of the seven batters he faced.
“Toward the end of the season we narrowed our staff down to four or five pitchers and since we did that, everybody’s been throwing strikes and we’ve been winning a lot,” Schroeder said. “Winning it back to back doesn’t happen a lot, so now that we have that done, we have to focus on state next week.”
Be sure not to tell the losing team a game doesn’t matter because Shanley (7-12) is certainly tired of runner-up trophies.
“This is our fifth trip to state and this is our fifth East Region runner-up trophy,” Shanley coach Joel Swanson said. “It gets old getting that second-place trophy. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but you still have that excitement of knowing you’re still one of the final eight teams.”
FS 100 000 0 – 1 3 2
WF 003 010 x – 4 6 1
Barclay, Paper (3), Schroeder (6) and Bruenjes. Sandy and Eide. W-Paper (1-0). L-Sandy. Save-Schroeder (2).
Fargo Davies 5, Fargo North 3
Casey Quinlan struck out 16 and yielded two earned runs in a complete game as Fargo Davies secured a berth in the state tournament by winning a qualifier game Saturday.
Tristan Hartness had two hits and Aidan Hartness scored two runs for the Eagles.
Mike Boutain had two hits for the Spartans.
FN 000 010 2–3 5 1
FD 100 220 x–5 7 2
T. Thompson, Connelly (4) and Melhoff. Quinlan and A. Hartness. W–Quinlan. L–T. Thompson.
Grand Forks Red River 4,
Chase Anderson’s go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning was the difference as Grand Forks Red River won a state qualifier Saturday.
Brady Regimbal and Colin Hennessey each had two hits for the Roughriders.
W 001 011 0–3 7 2
GFRR 003 001 x–4 6 0
Lunneborg, Lingen (4) and Edwardson, Lunneborg (4). Dufault, Regimbal (7) and Palmiscino. W–Dufault. L–Lingen. S–Regimbal.
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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548