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Glenn Pursley, Published August 09 2013

Omaha West knocks out West Fargo from Central Plains Regional

FARGO – A pair of big hits Friday kept Omaha West alive in the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball tournament.

Omaha West’s Devin Stueck and Drew Fitzmorris had RBI triples in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to secure a 12-1 win over West Fargo at Jack Williams Stadium.

“That was big for us,” said Omaha West head coach Bob Greco. “It was nice to see us battle the last three innings and get the kids’ attitudes turned around, because (Thursday) was a difficult game for us, and that carried over into today.”

Omaha lost its opening-round game Thursday to Carroll County (Iowa) 4-2.

The loss eliminates the Patriots from the tournament.

In the eighth inning, West Fargo’s Landon Uetz gave up a single to Jonathan Vidlak and walked two consecutive batters to load the bases. Facing a full count, Fitzmorris made contact for his three-run triple to put Omaha West up 8-1.

“I felt like we were in the game until we gave up a four-spot,” Patriots head coach Bill Ibach said. “They battled hard, but we ran into a pretty good left-handed pitcher. He threw hard and changed speeds well. I thought he did a really nice job.”

Stueck drove in two runs – one on a sac fly – prior to clearing the bases in the ninth. He drove in five runs and finished with two hits. Luke Biggs and Jake Meyers drove in runs in the sixth to extend Omaha’s lead to four runs.

Meyers scored three runs for Omaha West and tripled in his first at-bat. With two strikes, he turned on a fastball from West Fargo starter Andy Young and sent it deep into right-center field. There was some confusion on defense as Patriots outfielders Kory Wolden and Devin Wagenman collided trying to make the play.

Camran Bonnema led West Fargo with two hits and Uetz scored the Patriots’ only run.

“I told the kids not to concentrate on what they didn’t accomplish, but what they did accomplish,” Ibach said. “We were runner-up in the state and a hair away from winning the thing. We’re 40-20 and that’s pretty good. I’m proud of these kids.”

OW 111 002 043–12 10 2

WF 000 001 000– 1 3 1

Meyers, Nemecek (9) and Frei. Young, Uetz (6), Barker (9) and Bruenjes. W–Meyers. L–Young.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549