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Chris Aarhus / Forum News Service, Published May 31 2013

Packers return to Class A baseball title game

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Kory Wolden wasn’t interested in trying to duplicate Camran Bonnema’s no-hitter.

He wasn’t too far off, though.

The West Fargo senior pitched a seven-inning gem, allowing two hits and striking out eight in a 3-0 shutout of Dickinson on Friday at Jack Brown Stadium.

The win sends the Packers (22-3) to their second consecutive North Dakota Class A state baseball championship game, which is set for around 7 tonight. The defending state champions used a no-hitter from Bonnema to beat Jamestown in the opening round on Thursday.

“It’s been a strength all year. Kory, like Camran, attacked the zone and got ahead of hitters,” West Fargo coach Brett Peterson said. “It’s so key to throw (a first-pitch strike). He did a good job of doing that. Even when he was deep in the count, he battled.”

Dickinson tried to get to him early, getting its only two hits in the second inning. Once he figured the Midgets out, he retired 12 batters in a row.

“Right away, my fastball was definitely off,” Wolden said. “After the first two or three innings, it started working.”

Dickinson coach Pete Dobitz said the team made a conscious effort to go after his fastball.

“We tried to turn his fastball around on him early on,” Dobitz said. “He figured that out, so then he started coming with a change of pace. ... He did a good job of changing things up on us.”

The Packers scored all three of their runs in the third inning off starter James Kary. They strung together four hits including an RBI single from Ben Bruenjes, but the big hit came from Devin Wagenman, who singled in two runs to round out the scoring.

With three runs to work with, Wolden and his defense took care of everything else.

“The stats show themselves,” Wolden said. “Two hits (allowed) in two games. As long as we just keep throwing strikes, that’s the key thing.”

Wolden did walk two batters in the final inning to bring the game-tying run to the plate, but he coerced a ground out to end the game.

“The situation’s not gonna get too big for him,” Peterson said of Wolden. “He’s the guy you want on the mound.”

D 000 000 0–0 2 0

WF 000 300 x–3 7 1

Kary, Skabo (6) and Erickson. Wolden and Bruenjes. W-Wolden (3-0). L-Kary (2-4).

Aarhus writes for the Jamestown Sun