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Tom Mix, Published June 28 2013

Tri-City shuts out Blues at F-M Invite

MOORHEAD – Tri-City Red entered Friday as the top-ranked Division I American Legion baseball team in Minnesota.

However, the first day of the 41st annual Fargo-Moorhead Invitational didn’t start well for Tri-City, but the Red found redemption.

After opening with a loss, Tri-City – a team made up of players from Mounds View, Minn., which won the Class 3A state championship earlier this month – recovered to post a 5-0 win over the Moorhead Blues at Matson Field.

“We came out wanting to bounce back,” Tri-City head coach Stephen Grasley said. “We still think we have a good shot making it through the bracket. We just got to take it one game at a time.”

Tri-City lost to Giant Valley 2-1 in its first game, but jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Blues in the second inning. All of Tri-City’s runs in the second were unearned after a Blues fielding error extended the inning and allowed the Red to score their first run.

Red outfielder Ben Mezzenga connected for an RBI single later in the inning, which plated Tri-City’s second run. Another Blues error, this time an errant throw at second base on a stolen-base attempt, helped Tri-City add to its lead.

“We needed a spark,” Tri-City first baseman Sam Hentges said of the second-inning runs. “That got us going and we built off of it. It was great to come back and get a win especially in a pool play tournament like this. We have to win out the rest of the weekend.”

The errors hurt the Blues (8-10).

“We make one play in the second inning and it is a 2-0 ball game heading into the seventh inning,” Blues head coach Bryant Bergeson said. “When you are playing an upper-caliber team like Tri-City, any errors like that which lets in runs are huge. Runs are huge in games like these, and when they hung a three-spot there, it was tough to overcome.”

Tri-City scored its fourth run in the third inning when Hentges connected for a solo home run.

Charlie Callahan tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout for Tri-City (8-3).

The Blues loaded the bases with bases with one out in the seventh inning, but couldn’t knock in a run.

“I’m proud of the guys for hanging in there,” Bergeson said.

Peter MacFarlane was 2-for-2 with two singles and reached base on an error in the fifth inning.

TCR 031 000 1–5 6 2

M 000 000 0–0 5 3

Callahan and Meyer. Schroeder and Skjefte. W– Callahan. L–Schroeder. HR–Hentges.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562