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Glenn Pursley, Published July 17 2013

Post 2 clips Blues 1-0

FARGO – Gunnar Linstaedt struggled the last time he pitched against Moorhead. But on Wednesday, the Fargo Post 2 starter had his shot at redemption, and he hit the bull’s-eye.

Linstaedt pitched eight scoreless innings and worked his way out of multiple jams en route to a 1-0 American Legion baseball win over Moorhead at Jack Williams Stadium.

Second baseman Seth Tollefson drove in the winning run.

“I think it’s a testament to (Linstaedt) getting comfortable again after sitting out a bit,” Post 2 head coach Luke Rustad said. “I’m really proud of him. A week ago this team he pitched against ripped him up for about seven runs. He did a good job of keeping the ball down and making his pitches.”

Tollefson’s one-run single came in the bottom of the fifth to score left fielder Joe Nygaard.

Nygaard had reached first after being hit by a pitch, moved to second on a balk, and advanced to third on a passed ball.

“Gunnar threw a heck of a game today,” said Tollefson. “His last couple of starts had been kind of iffy, but today he really stepped up. He was a big part of why we won.”

Tollefson finished with one hit and Seth Amundson had a double for Post 2. Joe Hallock added two singles.

Linstaedt pitched ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh.

After retiring 19 of the first 24 batters he faced and striking out two in the process, Linstaedt gave up a single to Drew Anderson. Anderson reached second on a balk and got third on a wild pitch to put the pressure on, but Linstaedt was able to strike out leadoff hitter Brandon Weiser to end the threat.

With two outs in the eight, Mike Wiesmann singled for Moorhead and Austin Skjefte followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position and again put Linstaedt in an uncomfortable position.

But Linstaedt didn’t let it faze him. He got Tanner Swenson to fly out to center field and strand both runners on base.

“I just put the ball in play, and it worked out,” Linstaedt said. “I know I’ve got one of the best defenses in the state, and I have trust in all nine guys that are on the field 24-7.”

Linstaedt threw 91 pitches through eight innings and gave up eight hits and walked one. He was relieved by Bryton Buth, who pitched the ninth inning to pick up the save.

Post 2 has only eight more games left to play before the state tournament in August. They host Bismarck and Wahpeton on Friday and Wednesday, respectively, and Mandan and Jamestown next week.

Post 2 (7-3 North Dakota) is currently in third place, just two games behind West Fargo (9-4) and Minot (9-5).

“I think it’s important to get on a roll and understand that you just got to come to the ballpark every day and play good baseball,” Rustad said. “In our league games this year, we’ve let a couple slip away where we didn’t come with our best focus. So it’s really going to be a challenge to see how focused we are going to be over the next few days. I think if we show up and play the way we can, I really believe that we can win out.”

M 000 000 0–0 8 1

F 000 010 x–1 7 3

Eidsness and Skjefte. Linstaedt, Buth (9) and Hallock. W–Linstaedt. L–Eidsness. S–Buth.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549