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Glenn Pursley, Published June 30 2013

Fargo forges to F-M Invitational championship

MOORHEAD – For the second day in a row, Seth Tollefson came up big for Fargo Post 2.

Tollefson drove in the key run with a single in the sixth inning to lift Fargo to a 10-2 win over East Ridge of Woodbury, Minn., on Sunday in the championship game of the Fargo-Moorhead Invitational American Legion baseball tournament at Matson Field.

The tournament has an eight-run rule, meaning if a team is ahead by eight runs or more at the end of an inning late in the game, the contest would be halted.

“He’s just a really tough kid,” Fargo head coach Luke Rustad said of Tollefson, who finished with a double, two singles and two runs scored. “And I don’t think he lets anything get him down. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself, and we have confidence in him.”

Third baseman Ryan Smith hit a two-run double to set up Tollefson. Smith drove in Joe Hallock and Casey Quinlan before scoring his only run of the game off Tollefson’s hit to right-center field for an eight-run lead.

“It feels good,” Tollefson said. “We were focused right when the game started. My teammates put me in the position to produce and I’m just trying to do the best I can.”

Post 2 took an early lead off three consecutive singles in the first from Jake Salentine, Seth Amundson and Hallock. With the bases loaded, East Ridge pitcher Sam Cobbs walked Quinlan for the first run of the game and Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Amundson.

Salentine, Quinlan and Smith all drove in runs in the fourth to extend Fargo Post 2’s lead to 6-2.

Smith was the leader on offense, with two hits and four RBIs. Quinlan finished with two of Post 2’s 15 hits.

“It’s nice to play well,” Smith said. “Every time we show up at the park we’re focused and ready to play. I think we are really working our way toward state and playing well at the end of the year.”

On the mound for Post 2, Amundson pitched to contact. With the defense to back him up, East Ridge stranded five runners. Amundson gave up five hits and Post 2 didn’t commit an error.

East Ridge scored a run in each of the first two innings then was held scoreless the rest of the game.

“This is my first non-postseason tournament win as a Fargo coach, and I told these guys it’s a huge deal,” said Rustad. “It sets a tone for the season that you are going out to win games, not just show up and play games.”

Earlier Sunday, Post 2 cruised to an 8-0 win over Detroit Lakes to make it to the championship game with a 4-1 record.

F 210 313 –10 15 0

ER 110 000 –2 5 4

Amundson and Penney. Cobbs, Wermers (5) and Ringhofer. W–Amundson. L–Cobbs.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549