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REBOUND PERFORMANCE: Leapaldt throws shutout against Jamestown

Carrington Post 25 pitcher Kyle Leapaldt delivers to the plate Friday against Jamestown Post 14 during the American Legion Baseball Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. Michael Savaloja / The Sun1 / 3
Carrington shortstop Jayden Shipman scoops up a grounder Friday facing Jamestown during the American Legion Baseball Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. Michael Savaloja / The Sun2 / 3
Jamestown Post 14 pitcher Aaron Kleven tosses a strike Friday facing Carrington during the American Legion Baseball Phil Brown Classic at Jack Brown Stadium. Michael Savaloja / The Sun3 / 3

Just before Carrington Post 25 starting pitching Kyle Leapaldt took the mound at Jack Brown Stadium on Friday evening, he still had his last start at the historic ballpark in the back of his mind.

Leapaldt gave up both a two-run homer and a grand slam to Park River-Fordville-Lankin in the first inning of the state Class B baseball tournament semifinals here on June 1. The Aggies rolled 9-2 over Carrington.

Nothing of the sort would happen during the Phil Brown Classic, however, as Leapaldt threw a three-hit, complete-game shutout against Jamestown Post 14 as Carrington won 4-0.

"I just had to keep Jamestown off balance," Leapaldt said. "I didn't do that against Park River."

Leapaldt knew Jamestown would be an aggressive-hitting team so he threw mostly curveballs, changeups and sliders, resulting in eight strikeouts and many easy outs for the defense.

"I thought he was much more aggressive," said Carrington coach Tim Ranum. "He was able to throw strikes with his off-speed pitches. They're really aggressive hitters so if you get Post 14 off their timing a little bit you'll see what happened today."

Jamestown's Ryder Lunzman hit a double to right field with one out in the first inning, but after that Leapaldt retired the next 10 Post 14 players.

In the fifth inning, Leapaldt showed off his quick feet after picking off a leaning Kohl Kratz to erase a fifth-inning threat. The starter walked Jacoby Nold in the sixth and Tommy Falk singled in the seventh but Post 14 had no answer for Leapaldt.

"If Leapaldt throws like he did today, we won't lose many games going forward," Ranum said.

Jamestown starter Aaron Kleven nearly escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the third frame as Erickson, the third baseman, threw home to get the force out but Class A all-state catcher Tommy Falk overthrew first base to allow both Lucas Gieszler and Jayden Shipman to score.

"He makes that throw six to eight times a game—that's why we throw it down there on strikeouts—and sometimes that happens," said Jamestown coach Justin Connell. "He really wanted to make the throw and rushed himself a little bit."

Leapaldt helped himself out with an RBI double to left field in the fifth frame and Colton Buskness, Leapaldt's courtesy runner, later came around to score on a double steal to give Post 25 a 4-0 lead.

"2-0 would've been a little different feel to a game," Ranum said. "4-0 was a little more comfortable so Leapaldt's hit was big."

Carrington will play Devils Lake at 12:45 p.m. and Gillette (Wyo.) in the nightcap at 8:15 p.m. today.

"Against Gillette we'll throw Jayden Shipman," Ranum said about the Valley City State University baseball commit. Shipman plays shortstop when not on the mound. "It'll be a low-scoring game against a young but solid club.

"I haven't seen Devils Lake so we'll have to sneak one by it."

For Jamestown, it will play West Fargo at 5:45 p.m. in Post 14's only contest of the day.

"After watching them today they're a good team," Connell said. "That team went to the World Series as 14-year-olds—I believe they took third. Thankfully three of their studs are playing at the varsity level, but they're a very good team so I expect it to be a game like today."

Nelson no-hits Minot

Carrington Post 25 coach Tim Ranum didn't know what to expect out of starting pitcher Seth Nelson. That's because Nelson had never thrown a competitive inning in his life.

But Friday afternoon at Jack Brown Stadium he shined.

Nelson threw a no-hitter against Minot Metros Post 26, recording all but the final out of the fourth inning as Carrington rolled 10-0 in five innings.

"I knew he threw the ball hard," Ranum said. "I'm not surprised he threw a no-hitter because that's the talent he has. He's just been gone a lot and hasn't thrown a lot of innings. If he gets a little more polished he'll be a good pitcher."

Nelson kept his pitching debut simple by throwing 71 fastballs and six curveballs on the mound.

"They were pretty much behind on every pitch really," Nelson said. "I don't really have any other pitch besides a fastball."

Minot only drove the ball out of the infield once, as Calvin Watkins flew out to center in the fourth inning.

"When he threw strikes, nobody was touching him," Ranum said, referring to five walked Metro hitters. "There was maybe one hard-hit ball. He doesn't have great off-speed pitches yet but with the fastball he was dominating guys."

On the offensive end, Carrington scored three runs and sent five hitters to the dish before Minot starter Kersey Harris could record an out.

"The top of the order did a nice job and they set the table," Ranum said. "We hit the ball hard all day. That's where our strength is, like any small town team, when we're good it's the bottom of the order guys finding ways to get on base and the top of the order is driving them in."

Game 1

Carrington 10, Minot Metros 0 (5 innings)

MIN 000 00 -- 0 0 1

CAR 340 03 -- 10 8 0

W--Seth Nelson. L--Kersey Harris.

Game 2

Carrington Post 25 4, Jamestown Post 14 0

CAR 002 020 0 -- 4 5 1

JAM 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1

W--Kyle Leapaldt. L--Aaron Kleven.

Highlights: CAR - Kyle Leapaldt 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 8 K, BB, 2-4, 2B, RBI; Trey Rosenau 1-4, 3B; Payton Smith 1-3, BB; Lucas Gieszler 1-2, 2 R.

Record: Jamestown 10-8.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853