LaMoure ousted from state tournamentGRAFTON — LaMoure came here as defending champion and winner of two of the past three North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournaments. J.R. Thielges thought his team could contend for another title. But. . . .
By: By Greg DeVillers, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
GRAFTON — LaMoure came here as defending champion and winner of two of the past three North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournaments. J.R. Thielges thought his team could contend for another title.
But. . . .
“I thought we could make a run at the title,” Thielges, the LaMoure coach, said. “But you have to do some things right to do that. Obviously, scoring more than two runs a game is a big thing.”
Friday, for the second day in a row, LaMoure was held to two runs. For the second day in a row, it lost -this time by a 3-2 margin to Velva in the loser-out round.
LaMoure managed just five hits, one of them a home run by Gaige Dunn, against Velva left-hander Garrett Wible.
Wible only struck out two. But he gave up only one walk and relied on a defense that didn’t make an error and converted ground balls into 10 outs.
“We just couldn’t hit the ball very well,” Thielges. “(Wible) is the type of pitcher who we usually hit. But he made it tough on us by keeping the ball down and mixing up his pitches.
“We haven’t been hitting the ball really well lately. I wouldn’t say it was a concern for us coming in. I thought we’d hit better.”
Wible bounced back strong after allowing seven hits and eight runs in two innings in a first-round loss to Munich on Wednesday. Velva coach Tim Ranum said Wible has been pitching through an injury.
“Munich really hit him,” Ranum said. “But today he did a good job of getting ahead in the count. He attacked the strike zone. Both his fastball and change were working, and the defense did a good job behind him.”
Velva took a lead early, scoring twice in the first. Jon Mack’s single -the first of his three hits -drove in Ty Bruner with the first run, then Zach Podell doubled Mack home.
LaMoure bunched a walk to Cole Getzkow and back-to-back singles by Dunn and Aaron Stemen to score in the fourth. Mack singled in another run in the fourth, with Dunn homering in the sixth.
Ranum said he was surprised three runs were enough to win. “LaMoure is a solid hitting team,” he said. “If we are going to keep advancing, we need to score more.”
For now, however, Velva has bragging rights in the matchup of state champions. LaMoure won the 2009 state Legion title, while the Velva-Drake co-op won the North Dakota Class B high school state tournament this spring.
“We knew we had an opportunity to knock off the defending state champion,” Ranum said. “For now, we’re the sole defending state champion still standing.”
Winners’ bracket third round Grafton 3, Munich 1
In a matchup of the two remaining unbeatens in the tournament, Colby Aasand sparked Grafton to the win.
Aasand got the pitching win, allowing seven hits while throwing a complete game. Munich’s lone run off him came in the first inning Ben Tohm singled and scored when Travis Becked tripled to the fence in left-center field.
An Aasand solo home run in the third tied the game at 1-1. Grafton scored two more in the fifth. Cole Anderson and Aasand opened the inning with back-to-back singles.
After Paul Dusek’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Austin Campbell hit a two-run single.
Aasand pitched out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh for the win.
Loser-out games Casselton 10, Washburn 4
One big inning proved to be the difference.
Casselton took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Jacob Mogen tripled and scored on a ground out. Then, in the third inning, Casselton erupted for nine runs, all coming with two out. Alex Jacobson lined a two-run double to right-center field and Brandon Rust and Mike Rose each drove in a pair of runs with singles to highlight the outburst, in which Casselton sent 14 batters to the plate.
Jonathan Lubbers, a 16-year-old right-hander, went the distance, allowing seven hits and two earned runs, to get the pitching win.
North Dakota Class B American Legion Baseball Tournament
Winners bracket third round
Grafton 3, Munich 1
Grafton 001 020 0 — 3 9 1
Munich 100 000 0 — 1 7 1
WP—Colby Aasand; LP—Alex Anderson
Highlights—G: Aasand 2-2, HR, 2 runs, 1 RBI, Austin Campbell 2-4, 2 RBI, Paul Dusek 1-1; M: Travis Beck 2-3, 2B, 3B, 1 RBI, Blake Klein 2-4, Ben Tohm 2-4, 1 run
Casselton 10, Washburn 4
Washburn 000 020 2 — 4 7 3
Casselton 109 000 X — 10 6 3
WP—Jonathan Lubbers; LP—Charlie Retterath
Highlights—W: Cody Durkee 2-4, 2B, 1 run, Jeff Rasmussen 3 RBI, Mitch Wachendorf 1-4, 1 RBI; C: Brandon Rust 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 run, Jacob Mogen 1-2, 3B, 3 runs, Alex Jacobson 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 run, Mike Rose 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 run, Jack Wilcox 2 RBI, Zach Prante 1-2, 1 run, 1 RBI
Velva 3, LaMoure 2
LaMoure 000 101 0 — 2 5 2
Velva 200 100 X — 3 7 3
WP—Garrett Wible; LP—Aaron Stemen
Highlights—L: Gaige Dunn 2-3, HR, Stemen 1-3, 1 RBI, Russ Young 1-1; V: Jon Mack 3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 run, Ty Bruner 2-4, 1 run, Zach Podoll 1-2, 2B, 1 RBI
DeVillers is a sports writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.