Clifton, Carrington in winner’s bracket
LANGDON, N.D. — Logan Clifton did the expected with his right arm. The unexpected that he did with his bat has Carrington as one of the two unbeatens remaining here in the North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournament.
Clifton doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning and went on to score the game-winning run as Carrington beat Enderlin 4-3 here Thursday in a winner’s bracket second-round game. Carrington plays Thompson at 7 tonight in a matchup of the two remaining unbeatens in the double-elimination tournament.
Enderlin threatened in the top of the eighth. But, with runners on second and third and two out, Clifton came on in relief to get the final out.
Then came the leadoff double to left-center field. Alex Jarrett laid down a sacrifice bunt with two strikes to get Clifton to third and Brady Bickett singled to left to drive in Clifton with the game-winner.
“I’m mostly a pitcher,” said Clifton, who got the pitching win. “I only hit in practices. I was just hoping to make contact and hit it somewhere. I was completely surprised when I got to second base.”
How seldom does Clifton bat? “He’s probably had 15 at-bats total this season,” Carrington coach Tim Ranum said. “That double, I had no idea he had that in him.”
Carrington had taken a 1-0 lead on Easton Paeper’s run-scoring double in the third.
Enderlin tied the score in the fourth when Spencer Gillund homered down the left-field line. Enderlin added an unearned run in the fifth and back-to-back doubles by Dalton Anderson and Peter Lindgren in the sixth gave the Railcats a 3-1 lead.
Carrington scored an unearned run in the sixth. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Brady Smith doubled to deep left field, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an error.
“Give Carrington credit,” Enderlin coach Kevin Bratland said. “They did a good job of putting the ball in play against some pretty good pitches.”
Carrington finished with four hits, duplicating the total it had in a 1-0 first-round win against Langdon.
“We escaped by the skin of our teeth,” Ranum said. “This probably isn’t the recipe for winning. I think our bats are around here somewhere. But it’s been about a dream scenario the way it’s turned out for us so far.”
Class B State Legion Tournament
Carrington 4, Enderlin 3, 8 Innings
Enderlin 000 111 00 — 3 10 3
Carrington 001 001 11 — 4 4 3
WP — Logan Clifton; LP — Spencer Gillund
Highlights — E: Gillund 2x4, HR, Dalton Anderson 3x4, 2B, Peter Lindgren 1x4, 2B, Casey Langland 1x1, 2B; C: Clifton 1x1, 2B, GW R, Brady Bickett 1x2, GW RBI, Easton Paeper 1x2, 2B, Brady Smith 1x3, 2B.
DeVillers writes sports at the Grand Forks Herald