LaMoure falls to Thompson in winner’s bracket
LANGDON, N.D. — Calen Schwabe had been charged with three errors on misplayed grounders. With the game on the line, however, the Thompson 15-year-old was hoping for a shot at redemption.
“I wanted it (hit my way), right away,” the Thompson shortstop said. “I’d let the team down. I wanted to win it for my teammates. I wasn’t nervous about getting the ball.”
Schwabe sealed the deal, initiating a game-ending double play with the winning run on base. That clinched an 8-6 win against LaMoure here Thursday in the winner’s bracket second round of the North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournament.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Schwabe scooped up a grounder near second base, stepped on the bag and threw out batter Drew Thielges at first to end the game. It was the second straight inning Schwabe started an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
“Calen’s a very good shortstop,” Thompson coach Brady Schwab said. “And he’s a competitor. He had some errors, but they weren’t necessarily routine plays.”
“There was nothing routine about the entire game.
Thompson jumped to an early lead, scoring twice in the second inning, four in the third and two more in the fourth inning. Thompson had its share of other scoring opportunities, but LaMoure turned four double plays, three of them inning-enders.
“Eight-0 surprised us,” Schwab said. “We were able to get some timely hits. I felt better after we got the early lead. But I wasn’t comfortable with it.”
That’s because LaMoure kept crowding the infield with baserunners. LaMoure left a total of 15 runners on base, 13 of those in scoring position.
“I was happy they left them out there,” said Brandon Walsh, who threw five innings to get the pitching win, with Ryne Dolleslager throwing the final two. “You have to see (all the baserunners) out there around you when you’re pitching. You just have to concentrate and make your pitches.
“It felt good when we went up eight. But it got real nerve-wracking when they kept coming back.”
LaMoure rallied with three runs in the fourth, two in the sixth and another in the seventh before Schwabe’s glovework came up big. “He’s been making plays out there for us all season,” Walsh said.
Stranding all the runners was atypical for LaMoure.
“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” LaMoure coach J.R. Thielges said. “We just couldn’t get timely hits. That’s not usually been a problem for us, especially late in the year.”
Nelson County defeats Renville Co.
During the high school season, Matt Miller was a clean-up hitter and an all-region pick for Lakota-Edmore. Now it’s the American Legion season and Miller has no problem with the No. 8 spot in the Nelson County lineup.
“There are so many good hitters when you combine three high school teams on our Legion team,” Miller said. “There are five us who were all-region picks. For me, it takes the pressure off.”
Miller was part of the lower part of the lineup that came up big Thursday as Nelson County beat Renville County 12-2 in the loser-out round of the North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournament.
Bradyn Sand at the No. 7 spot and Miller each drove in three runs. Those two, plus Tyler Gravseth and Ben Halverson, combined for five runs and five of the Owls’ 14 hits.
“We have games where the top of the order is smashing the ball,” Miller said. “There are games where the bottom of the order is hitting. In some games, it all comes together. It was close to that today.”
The Owls got at least one hit and one run from each of the nine spots in the lineup. Hunter Engel and Riley Nelson at the top of the order each had two hits, while Dakota Hoyt batting fourth had three hits. Nelson, Jayden Grover and Gravseth each scored twice.
Nelson County jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, then broke open a 5-1 lead in a three-run third.
“We hit the ball real well in the sectional tournament and, in a lot of the games, it was the bottom of the order that got us going,” Nelson County coach Brent Luehring said.
“In our section, the bottom of our order is as good as anybody’s. A lot of our guys hitting sixth through ninth were at the top of the order on their high school teams.”
Nelson threw the first four innings to pick up the pitching win. He struck out seven while allowing a run and three hits before Jonathan Lund finished.
“Riley’s our No. 1,” Luehring said. “He threw well. We went with him to start because we had to win to stay here. But we pulled him to save him some innings.”
Thompson 8, LaMoure 6
Thompson 024 200 0 — 8 11 5
LaMoure 000 302 1 — 6 8 2
WP—Brandon Walsh; LP—Brady Thielges.
Highlights — T: Calen Schwabe 3x5, Tom Nistler 3x4, Ryne Dolleslager 2x2, 2B, 2 R, Walsh 1x1, 2 RBI, Andrew Klegstad 1x3, 3 RBI, Skyler Carlson 2 R; L: Drew Thielges 2x5, Quinn Alo 2x4, 2 2B, Brady Thielges 1x2, 2B, 2 R.
Nelson County 12, Renville County 2, 6 Innings
Nelson County 203 034 — 12 14 0
Renville Co. 010 010 — 2 4 5
WP—Riley Nelson; LP—Connor Brackenbury
Highlights — NC: Dakota Hoyt 3x4, 2 RBI, Hunter Engel 2x4, 2B, Nelson 2x5, 2R, Jayden Grover 1x5, 3B, 2R, Tyler Gravseth 1x3, 2R, Bradyn Sand 2x4, 2B, 3 RBI, Matt Miller 1x4, 3 RBI; RC: Ryley Brown 1x3, 1 RBI, Chase Gates 1x2, 1 RBI