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Glenn Pursley, Published July 07 2013

Patriots defeat Blues in Legion baseball

WEST FARGO – It was a true team effort for the West Fargo Patriots on Sunday.

Right fielder Landon Uetz slugged a three-run home run to lift the Patriots to an 8-5 American Legion baseball victory over Moorhead at Veterans Field.

Including Uetz’s key three-run shot, nine out of ten WF batters got a hit to total 13 for the Patriots.

“It feels good, I guess, since we haven’t taken hitting (practice) for a while,” head coach Bill Ibach said, referring to a four-day holiday break. “I’m hoping we can get on a roll so we can do some damage at state.”

Uetz’s homer scored Andy Young and Kory Wolden to break a scoreless tie in the third inning. Devin Wagenman scored an unearned run in the fourth to increase West Fargo’s lead to four runs, an advantage it held onto most of the game.

Wolden reached on a fielder’s choice and Young hit a single over second base to set up Uetz’s three-run shot, his first of the season.

“I was just trying to put a good swing on it,” Uetz said. “We had runners on a lot of the innings and we were just waiting for someone to come through. It seems to be a different guy each game, but it happened to be me today.”

The Patriots led through seven innings, but gave up five runs off three hits during a Moorhead rally in the eighth.

Blues designated hitter Mike Wiesman chopped a ground ball that scored Tanner Swenson to start the rally. Peter MacFarlane headed to third on the same play, but an errant throw allowed him to score and knot the game 4-all.

Preston Kraiter laid down a bunt to score Wiesman on a squeeze play the next at-bat to take a 5-4 lead, the Blues’ first of the night.

The lead was short lived, however, as West Fargo rallied back in the bottom half of the inning to tack on four more runs on five hits and take back the lead.

“All those hits in the last inning were huge,” said Ibach.

Chase Gooding started the rally for the Patriots, clubbing a single before scoring his first run of the game on Wolden’s groundout to the shortstop. Ben Huber and Young followed with run-scoring doubles and Uetz added a single to score Young and take a three-run lead and seal the deal.

Huber batted 3-for-5 and Uetz finished with four RBIs and two runs scored. Jordan Rheault was 1-for-1 with three walks and scored a run.

Camran Bonnema was the starter for West Fargo and pitched six complete innings. He held Moorhead to four hits and stranded five runners on base and struck out four. Gooding replace Bonnema in the eighth, but after losing the lead, Young took the mound.

Young gave up back-to-back singles before getting out of the jam and retiring the next three batters in the ninth to close out the game.

“I was confident in our guys that we could come back and we did,” said Young, who finished 2-for-4. “It was a wake-up call. We had two (innings) to get it done and we did it in the eighth, so it worked out.”

M 000 001 040–5 7 1

WF 003 100 04x–8 13 3

Schroeder, Swenson (8) and Skjefte. Bonnema, Gooding (6), Young (8) and Bruenjes. W–Young. L–Swenson.

Forum reporter Glenn Pursley can be reached at (701) 241-5549.