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Glenn Pursley, Published July 27 2013

Moorhead makes it another day at D-1 Sub-State 14 tournament

MOORHEAD – Two was the magic number for Moorhead on Saturday.

Zach Schroeder drove in two runs and Mike Wiesmann hit a two-run single to help the Blues hold onto a two-run lead and beat Thief River Falls 8-6 in an elimination game at the Minnesota Division I Sub-State 14 American Legion baseball tournament at Matson Field.

Brandon Porter and Preston Kraiter each added two singles and scored three runs combined to help the Blues stay alive to face No. 2-seeded Alexandria at 1 p.m. today.

“It’s so much easier,” said Schroeder in reference to holding an early lead. “I’m really glad we got these two wins today, but we got pretty good games tomorrow.”

Earlier Saturday, Schroeder struck out seven batters to spark Moorhead’s 6-4 win over Fergus Falls.

“It was a weird game,” said head coach Bryant Bergeson of the Blues first game. “We got the lead late and grinded it out and we’re able to hang on for the two-run victory and lived to play another day.”

Schroeder’s first hit – an RBI double – drove in Kraiter to take the first lead of the game, which was something new for the Blues. His shot beat the outfielder and bounced off the fence in right-center field.

Schroeder finished with four hits to lead the Blues on offense.

“(Schroeder) started off with a double off the fence and everyone kind of jumped on his back and followed his lead,” said Bergeson. “He just kept it up all day and that’s what we expect from Zach.”

Tanner Swenson took four consecutive balls from TRF pitcher Chris Sanders to load the bases for Drew Anderson. Anderson flew out to the warning track in left field for the sacrifice fly, bringing in Schroeder to extend the lead 2-0.

TRF responded in the bottom of the first with four runs off of base hits from Ian Lund and Turner Storm, but the Blues exploded the next inning to match TRF’s four runs and preserve a two-run lead.

Kraiter led off the inning with a single – his second of the game – and Peter MacFarlane reached first after being hit by a pitch. Wiesmann followed with a grounder up the middle that cleared the infield and scored MacFarlane and Schroeder.

Porter and Wiesmann scored an insurance run in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively.

Although TRF wasn’t able to mount a comeback against the Blues, the same cannot be said about the Bandits’s earlier game against East Grand Forks.

E-G-F held a five-run lead after in an elimination game after eight innings, but the Bandits weren’t ready to head home. Wyatt Wheeler – batting twice in the ninth – had a one-run single to start things off then cleared the bases with a double to total four RBIs and help the Bandits steal the game 11-7.

“Even when we were down we knew if we came through and battled we are a never say die team,” Bandits head coach Corey Poole said. “Unfortunately we just ran out of gas in that second one. Playing 18 innings in a row is draining so we are proud of their effort. They are a class-act group.”

In winner’s bracket action, Thomas Revering and Collin Rutledge drove in runs to help pace Bemidji to a 9-2 win over top-seeded Alexandria.

Mitch Buckanaga pitched a complete game for Bemidji and held Alex to just one run off four hits and struck out five. Conner McNalla finished 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI.

Bemidji remains the only unbeaten team and will play the winner of the loser’s-bracket semifinal between Moorhead and Alexandria in the championship game at 4 p.m.

M 240 000 110– 8 14 1

TRF 400 000 020– 6 7 1

England, Wiesmann (8) and Oberg. C. Sanders, Merrill (6), Brooks (9) and L. Sanders. W–England. L–C. Sanders.

Moorhead 6, Fergus Falls 4

M 010 003 110– 6 9 2

FF 010 000 120– 4 7 2

Schroeder, Erholtz (7) and Oberg. Reinertson, Hanson (8) and Heinen W–Schroeder. L–Reinertson.

Thief River Falls 11, East Grand Forks 7

TRF 000 100 019–11 13 4

EGF 000 210 040– 7 8 5

Samuelson, Brooks (8) and L. Sanders. Brierley, Olson (8), Mortenson (9), Freitag and Hammargren. W–Brooks. L–Mortenson.

Bemidji 9, Alexandria 2

A 000 000 110–2 5 2

B 201 000 24x–9 10 2

Thompson, C. Leary (8) and P. Leary. Buckanaga, Rutledge (8) and Revering. W–Buckanaga. L–Thompson.

ADA, Minn. – Hawley forced a winner-take-all championship game with two wins Saturday at the Minnesota Division II, District 9 American Legion baseball tournament.

Hunter Lawson had five singles as Hawley rolled to a 12-7 victory over Roseau.

Roseau was eliminated with the loss.

Jordan Harms hit two home runs – a three-run shot and a solo homer – and was the winning pitcher in Hawley’s 8-6 victory over Warroad in the first championship game.

Chad Clute, Cody Cook and Kody Crabtree all had two hits for Hawley.

Hawley will face Warroad for the championship at 2 p.m. today.

R 200 104 0–7 10 7

H 271 101 x–12 13 1

Eaton, Strand (2), Ferguson (4), Kahn (6) and Norberg. Harms, Hanson (6) and Cook. W– Harms. L–Eaton.

H 011 000 42–8 16 X

W 121 011 00–6 7 X

Hanson, Harms (5) and Cook. Merriman, McPherson (8), Astrup (8) and Sandahl. W–Harm. L– McPherson. HR- H, Harms (two home runs)

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549