Carrington finds summer success
Regardless of the sport, Carrington usually finds itself in the mix when it matters.
It did last week when it won the Central Region Tournament title to earn a trip to Langdon for the state tournament.
“This place kind of expects to be successful,” said Ranum, who played and was an assistant coach at Jamestown College. “With the kids we have, there was the expectation of having a good team and despite a few bumps along the way things have ended up working out pretty well.”
Carrington (21-11) will play the final game today in Langdon against the host team.
The roster is full of familiar names that have succeeded in football, basketball, wrestling and track and field, plus baseball.
“Our kids have done well across a number of sports like a lot teams,” Ranum said. “That diversity in their experiences is a benefit to what they do in baseball whether it’s their overall athleticism, their toughness or whatever. It’s certainly a positive in that they have success in other sports and they carry that over into baseball.”
Clean-up hitter and No. 1 pitcher Patrick Freeman’s wrestling accomplishments run long, but he’s also put together a strong resume on the diamond. This summer he’s hitting .418 and has a team-high five wins on the mound.
“He’s done a lot of good things. He’s probably that No. 1-type guy on the mound,” Ranum said.
Brady Smith hits right in front of Freeman in the order and owns a .372 average and has won four of his five decisions on the mound.
The Hewitt cousins (Braxton, Austin and Marcus) all play key roles. Alex Jarrett’s .344 average gives the lineup depth out of the 7-hole. Brett Lyman (3-1) pitches primarily, but delivered the game-winning hit in the region championship game on Saturday.
Connor Wendel, a track standout in the spring, has hit .420 this summer.
Ranum, who teaches English in Carrington, knew the players well. He was the Legion coach in 2012 and also serves as the assistant coach to Wayne Shipman with the high school squad.
“I thought our region was about six teams deep in terms of teams that could win it, so it wasn’t going to be easy for us to get to state, but I can’t say I’m surprised,” he said. “It’s a nice accomplishment.”
Ranum compares the state tournament field to the region they just navigated in that it’s deep and balanced and expects his team to enter with confidence.
“I don’t think the lights will be too bright for them. They’ve all been in situations where there was a lot at stake,” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to be happy just to be there, they want to go out and play good baseball.”
1. Easton Paper, C, .275; 2, Braxton Hewitt, 2B/SS/3B, .292 avg; 3. Brady Smith, SS/P, .372 avg., 4-1; 4. Patrick Freeman, 3B/P, .418 avg., 5-3; 5. Austin Hewitt, 2B/OF, .311 avg., 0-1; 6, Marcus Hewitt, OF/P, .365 avg., 4-1; 7. Alex Jarrett, 1B, .344 avg.; 8. Brady Bickett, LF/CF, .230 avg.; 9. Connor Wendel, RF, .250 avg.; Brett Lyman .250 avg., 3-1. Logan Clifton 2-2.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org