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Bismarck one win away from advancing to championship

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FARGO — Bismarck had not been to the American Legion regional tournament since 1997 and had not won at the tournament since 1982. After Friday’s 12-2 win over Lakeville North at Jack Williams Stadium, the Governors are one way away from heading to the championship of the Division I Central Plains Regional Tournament.

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“It’s absolutely incredible,” Bismarck pitcher Kole Bauer said. “There’s a lot of great Govs teams to come through Bismarck and to be one since 1982 to win a couple games here with a chance to go to the championship is amazing.”

The pitching has also shined for Bismarck (42-9). The Governors have given up two runs in 18 innings in the tournament on 12 hits and eight walks. Bauer went 8 2/3 innings Friday, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out two.

Bismarck had pitched 13 straight scoreless innings before back-to-back, two-out singles from Kyle Rhodus and Angelo Altavilla each plated runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for Lakeville North. That made the score 7-2, and the Panthers would not score again.

“We have a great pitching staff,” Bauer said. “We got a lot of guys left. We struggled at the plate (Thursday) and managed to get the win, but today to come out and get four in the first inning against a team like this is huge.”

Bismarck could only scrape together one run for Dalton Feeney on Thursday. On Friday, the Bismarck offense quadrupled that in the first inning thanks to an RBI double from Bauer to help his own cause and a two-run double from Hunter Walsh. Four innings later, Trent Bohan busted the game wide open with a two-out, three-run double to make it 7-0.

“It’s huge because then it gave our pitcher a boost,” Bohan said of the four-run first inning for Bismarck. “It gave him a lead to work with and he was able to pitch strikes.”

After Lakeville North got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth, Bismarck’s Brandon Giezler took it the rest of the way. He had a two-out, two-run single in the top of the seventh to make it a 9-2 game and a three-run double in the top of the ninth to make it 12-2.

“We really took some good swings and we kind of seemed to ride that momentum the rest of the game,” Bismarck coach Mike Skytland said of Bismarck’s first inning offense. “We’ve just been playing well and we are just keep trying to play the same way. Not think about the moment and think about playing our game.”

Bismarck 12, Lakeville North 2

Bismarck 400 030 203 — 12 15 1

Lakeville 000 020 00x — 2 8 5

Riach, Herber (6) and Jensen. Bauer, Dale (9) and Irey. W–Bauer (5-1). L–Riach (5-1).

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Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy is the Minnesota preps and Fargo Force beat reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota for the last five years and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so. If reading him in the paper and online isn't enough, you can read more of him at the Forum Preps Blog: http://forumpreps.areavoices.com/  
(701) 241-5548
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