Packers win in 10; Wahpeton blows by Minot in final gameWest Fargo pitcher Tanner Dahl didn’t have much left in him when he stepped on to the mound in the 10th inning, but the senior right-hander had just enough. Dahl threw a perfect final frame to polish off a complete-game, 10-inning victory over top-seeded Bismarck Century in the opening round of the state Class A baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown.
West Fargo pitcher Tanner Dahl didn’t have much left in him when he stepped on to the mound in the 10th inning, but the senior right-hander had just enough.
Dahl threw a perfect final frame to polish off a complete-game, 10-inning victory over top-seeded Bismarck Century in the opening round of the state Class A baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown.
The No. 4-seeded Packers pushed four runs across in the top of the 10th and Dahl closed the door with a flyout, strikeout and a groundout as West Fargo took down the Patriots 5-1 to pull of the first upset of the tournament.
“I don’t know how much longer my coaches would have let me go because of the pitch count but I wanted it really bad,” said Dahl, who has notched double-digit strikeouts in every game this season but one. “The guys wanted me out on the mound.”
The only run Dahl allowed was unearned in the top of the second after the Patriots capitalized on a fielding error by stringing together back-to-singles for the game’s first run.
Century’s Dylan Kadrmas chopped a single up the middle to score Justin Ledger from third, but Dahl only got stronger from there on. He set down 10 in a row a one point, finishing with 11 strikeouts and allowed just five hits.
“There’s nobody else on our team that could do that,” said Packers coach Brett Peterson. “Tanner is just that guy. He wants the ball. I think he was just as strong in the 10th as he was in the second or third.”
The Patriots, who are now 19-9 on the year, nearly broke the rubber-armed righty in the ninth when Carson Wentz was hit by a pitch and Logan Rauhauser walked one batter later, but Kadrmas grounded out to short to keep the score tied at 1-all.
“I just kept throwing strikes,” Dahl said. “I just kept getting after it and made them put the ball in play.”
The Packers did not lead until the 10th inning when Kory Wolden broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Braden Schmid, who reached earlier in the inning on a single up the middle.
“We had chances to break it open early and we didn’t,” said Peterson. “We know when we have Tanner on the hill we just need that one big inning and he’ll take care of the rest. We waited until that 10th inning to do it, but we did it.”
West Fargo gave the hard-throwing senior a little more insurance when Andy Young delivered an RBI single to left and Tucker Bucholz drove in two more with a liner in the very next at-bat.
“I knew my guys would come through,” said Dahl. “I knew if I just threw strikes and pitched the way I do, we would be in good shape.”
Young, who finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs, drove in the Packers’ first run of the game with a one-out single in the fifth, but three Patriot pitchers teamed up to keep West Fargo scoreless over the next four innings.
Dan Bihrle started on the hill for Century and went just two innings before Alex Bray came in for relief with a 1-0 lead.
Bray pitched into the eighth giving up one run on six hits before Erik Ringsak closed out the inning with a line out to left field. Ringsak cruised through the ninth before for Packers got to him in the 10th.
“We just have to keep doing what we’re doing,” Peterson said. “Hopefully we can take those approaches we had in the 10th inning into (Friday). I think we’ve got to do a better job of getting key hits, but for us it’s about playing good defense. … If we put up a zero or a one in the error column, usually we win.”
Wahpeton 9, Minot 0
Wahpeton’s Jeremy Bontjes drove in four runs and pitched a complete-game shutout to lead Wahpeton to a 9-0 first-round victory over Minot.
Minot’s pitchers struggled to find the zone and the Huskies delivered the timely hits to set up a meeting with East Region rival West Fargo in the semifinals today, while the Magicians fall into the consolation bracket for a matchup with top-seeded Bismarck Century.
Bontjes, after giving up two singles in the first inning, kept the Magicians out of the hit column for five straight innings. The junior right-hander struck out 12 in his winning effort.
Two of his RBIs came in the first inning when he doubled to left center to score Tyler Gripentog and Carson Miller, after they both reached on walks to open the inning.
The Huskies (14-14) added runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to build their lead to 9-0.
Bjontes drove in two of the four runs scored by the Huskies in the sixth inning to finish his day 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Caleb Fornshell, Levi Landphere and Brock Krueger supplied the only hits for the Magicians, who fall to 12-13 this year. Krueger had the only multi-hit game for Minot.
Alex Schaefer started on the hill for the Magicians and was saddled with the loss after going 3 1-3 innings allowing four runs on two hits and four walks. Alexander Howell pitched 1-3 of an inning with three walks before Daniel Erickson closed out the game.
Class A state tournament
West Fargo 5, Bismarck Century 1 (10 innings)
WF 000 010 000 4 — 5 14 1
Century 010 000 000 0 — 1 5 1
Tanner Dahl and Tucker Bucholz. Dan Bihrle, Alex Bray (3), Erik Ringsak (8), Justin Ledger (10) and Logan Rauhauser. W-Dahl. L-Ringsak. 2B: WF-Landon Uetz; CEN-Carson Wentz.
Records: West Fargo 23-6; Bismarck Century 19-9.
Minot 9, Wahpeton 0
Minot 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
Wahpeton 201 204 x — 9 4 1
Alex Schaefer, Alexander Howell (4), Daniel Erickson (4) and Eric Thoemke. remy Bontjes and Preston Kath. W-Bontjes. L-Schaefer. 2B: MHS-Levi Landphere; WHS-Bontjes, Carson Miller.
Records: Minot 12-13; Wahpeton 14-14.
Griswold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (701) 952-8462