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Chris Aarhus / Forum News Service, Published May 30 2013

Bonnema throws no-hitter in West Fargo's first-round victory

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Camran Bonnema’s fastball was well-located on Thursday.

The West Fargo standout pitcher even took some heat off it.

Behind Bonnema’s seven-inning, no-hit performance, the Packers advanced to the semifinals of the North Dakota Class A state baseball tournament with a 5-0 shutout of Jamestown at Jack Brown Stadium.

Bonnema allowed four walks while striking out 10 in his third varsity no-hitter, the first this season.

“It didn’t feel like I was throwing my hardest,” said Bonnema, who used 102 pitches to improve to 6-0. “I felt like I could throw harder. I was hitting my spots and locating pitches.”

The Packers (21-3) play Dickinson at 4:30 p.m., in the next round, hoping to continue their quest for a second consecutive state championship.

“We had three goals: Back-to-back Eastern Dakota Conference champs in the regular season, EDC tourney champs and winning a state title,” Bonnema said. “We’ve got the first two. Now, we need the last one.”

Bonnema said he thought about putting a little more juice on his pitches in the seventh, but decided against it.

“The last inning, I was tempted to throw harder,” Bonnema said. “In the back of my mind, I knew I had the no-hitter going. I wanted to blow it past Jamestown, but they’re a good-hitting team. I just shut them down today.”

Jamestown coach Kelley Kessler was complimentary of Bonnema, who used mostly fastballs with the occasional changeup.

“Like I told the kids, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to a player like that,” Kessler said. “He got it done tonight. ... There’s a reason he’s the best pitcher in the east, in my mind. He pitched a great game.”

West Fargo jumped on Jamestown sophomore Brian Wenzel, scoring four runs on six hits in the first innings. The inning was highlighted by a two-run homer from Devin Wagenman.

“It makes it so much easier if you get on the board right away,” Bonnema said. “Pitching with the lead is what we talk about most. It’s 10 times easier.”

But the Packers offense slowed thereafter, as Wenzel allowed only one run on four hits in the final six innings. Wenzel dropped to 4-1 on the season. All four losing pitchers in the opening round came into the tournament undefeated.

“Brian, he gave us a chance to win,” Kessler said. “After that first inning, he threw four-hit baseball. He did a fantastic job.”

Jamestown plays Fargo Davies in consolation action at 11:30 a.m. today. The Blue Jays are likely to see Davies ace Casey Quinlan.

J 000 000 0–0 0 2

WF 400 001 x–5 10 0

Wenzel and Gebhardt. Bonnema and Bruenjes. W-Bonnema (6-0). L-Wenzel (4-1).

Grand Forks Red River 5, Bismarck 4

Grand Forks Red River catcher Danny Palmiscno kept his head on a swivel, glancing down the third-base line while watching for the relay from outfielder Matt Anderson and first baseman Brady Regimbal.

The anticipation didn’t last long.

Pamiscno dug out a long-hopper and tagged out the potential game-tying run at home plate to preserve the victory over Bismarck. The Roughriders (13-6) advance to the semifinals where they face Shanley today.

GFRR 101 010 2–5 9 1

B 000 000 4–4 6 5

Mahoney, Hennessy (7) and Palmiscno. Dinga, Gieszler (6) and Irey. W-Mahoney (2-2). L-Dinga (2-1). S-Hennessy (2).

Aarhus writes for the Jamestown Sun