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Tom Mix, Published August 08 2013

Post 2 falls to Burnsville at Central Plains Regional baseball tournament

FARGO – The final opening-round game of the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball tournament was a seesaw battle in the early going.

Fargo Post 2 and Burnsville, Minn., each enjoyed the lead during the first four innings, but once the game turned to the fifth inning, Burnsville took the lead for good.

Burnsville used a four-run fifth inning to score a 7-3 win over Fargo Post 2 at Jack Williams Stadium.

“It was very important,” Burnsville head coach Gregg Nesbitt said of the fifth inning. “You could see the nerves showing in the early innings with a few mistakes, and you can’t have that in Game No. 41 of the year. Scoring those runs calmed us down and took the crowd out of it, which probably was the biggest thing for us.”

Burnsville advances to play Eden Prairie, Minn., in the winner’s bracket at 8 p.m. today. Eden Prairie defeated Burnsville 15-2 on Monday in the Minnesota state championship.

“That inning where they scored four runs was big, and we gave them a few extra baserunners there,” Post 2 head coach Luke Rustad said. “I was proud of the way we competed, and we did put together a lot of good at-bats the entire game.”

Post 2 plays Rapid City, S.D., in a loser-out game at 1 p.m. today.

Burnsville only had one hit in the fifth inning, but sent eight batters to the plate. The combination of Post 2 starter Lincoln Voss hitting two batters and three Fargo errors helped fuel Burnsville’s rally. Burnsville’s runs were scored on two errors, a fielder’s choice and a batter getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Burnsville’s Aaron Rozek tossed a complete game and finished with eight strikeouts.

“I needed to focus up,” Rozek said. “When they gave me the four runs, I needed to pick them up like they picked me up.”

Fargo scored a run in the first inning. Designated hitter Jon Nygaard led off the first with a single and scored on an RBI single off the bat of Aaron Green.

Burnsville answered with two runs in the third inning. Bo Hellquist scored Peter Nordgren with an RBI single and Tyler Hill knocked in Hellquist with an RBI double.

Post 2 regained the lead scoring two runs in the fourth inning. Ryan Smith and Andrew Beyer each connected for RBI singles in the inning.

Burnsville 002 040 001–7 8 2

Fargo 100 200 000–3 9 3

Rozek and Traetow. Voss, Buth (8) and Hallock. W–Rozek. L–Voss.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562