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Glenn Pursley, Published July 31 2013

Rally helps Beulah best LaMoure

BEULAH, N.D. – Beulah finished its opening-round game in thrilling fashion Wednesday.

Koch had an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Beulah to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over LaMoure in the North Dakota Class B American Legion state baseball tournament at Goldmann Field.

“It feels pretty great,” Koch said. “He threw a fastball right down the middle, and I figured I would just try and stay alive, but luckily I hit a gap.”

With only one out in the eighth, Koch stepped into the box. Facing a 1-2 count, he saw the fastball coming, turned on it, and sent it flying out to the right-center gap, scoring Mikey Morris from second base for the win.

“We’re an old team, so they’ve been through it before,” Beulah head coach Ryan Bodell said. “Any win we can get, especially a win like this, hopefully will carry us.”

Although the game ended in the eighth, the trouble for LaMoure started in the seventh.

LaMoure’s starting pitcher Chris Heinrich threw seven innings and held Beulah to just two hits and struck out 12. He tallied nine of those in the first three innings. But in the seventh, he ran out of gas. Heinrich gave up two consecutive hits to force a pitching change.

Koch led off the seventh with a single and Pat Becker followed with a base hit to put runners in scoring position. Beulah’s Trevor Zacher, who was also the starting pitcher, connected for the team’s third consecutive single to score Koch. Zacher would later score to tie the game 3-3.

“(Heinrich) is a fierce competitor, but I think he ran out of gas in the seventh,” LaMoure head coach J.R. Thielges said. “We got to sharpen it up a little bit, we made too many errors tonight.

Doing his part in the batter’s box and on the mound, Zacher pitched a complete game and gave up six hits. He stuck out 14 and retired the side in order twice, once in the second and again in the eighth to close out the game.

“We got the home fans behind us, and it’s only going to get fuller and fuller as we keep winning,” Zacher said. “We don’t get down on each other. We’re always helping each other out. I’ve got confidence in my team, and they have confidence in me.”

Bodell added: “He’s our ace, and we go to him in big games. Whenever we have to win that’s who we go with. It seems the bigger the game, the more amped he is for it and the better he is.”

LaMoure first took the lead in the fourth with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze.

Thielges led off the inning with a walk and scored on an errant throw to first when Anthony Olson bunted up the third-base line. Two batters later, Beau Diegel took off from third and Parker Stemen laid down a bunt to execute the suicide squeeze and score Diegel to take a 2-1 lead after four innings.

Beulah’s next game against Grafton starts at 7:30 p.m. today. LaMoure will play Enderlin in a loser-out game at noon.

L 000 210 00–3 6 5

B 000 100 21–4 7 1

Zacher and A. Battest. Heinrich, Mieklejohn (7) and T. Thielges.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549