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Thompson tops Carrington, Post 25's season still stays alive

It was looking as if Carrington's baseball season was going to end Sunday with a 5-2 loss to Thompson during the Class B American Legion State tournament championship game. But luckily for Post 25, their baseball season will continue for at least one more week.

Thompson declined to play in Wednesday's Central Plains Division 2 Regional Tournament in Wahpeton because 9-man football practice begins tomorrow for the Tommies. With Thompson's first game on Aug. 17, legion and football coach Brady Schwab said 10 of his guys wouldn't make the practice limit by then.

"It's too bad that teams are forced to make a decision because of football," said Carrington coach Tim Ranum. "But we'll be able to field a baseball team."

Post 25 will play Le Seur-Henderson, the Division-II winner from Minnesota, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

"You get some really good kids and teams," Ranum said. "There's some teams you'll compete with and it's a good experience to play some good competition, especially for the kids coming back."

Carrington is also set to begin football practice on Wednesday but won't play its first game until Aug. 24 on the road against Kindred. This will allow the Cardinals to get the minimum number of practices in.

For Sunday's game, Thompson took a one-run lead after two innings played. Carrington later threatened in the third inning, but Thompson scored three more times to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

"We knew that we weren't going to win the game by scoring zero runs," Ranum said.

"We thought that we had to score five or six. But the three-run inning by Thompson really hurt us in the end."

Thompson starting pitcher Tyler Hegg did the rest from there after pitching six innings, allowing two runs (one unearned) on eight hits and punching out nine in the victory. Marcus Hughes pitched the final inning to notch the save.

"Hegg is a great pitcher and he's very talented but striking out doesn't give us a chance," Ranum said about being punched out 10 times. "Every time it seemed like we would grab momentum they'd take it right back."

Youngster Kyle Leapaldt started on the hill for Post 25 where he battled for six innings but allowed five runs on six hits.

"He had good stuff even though he's a little young," Ranum said. "He feels like he has to throw through a brick wall on the pitcher's mound. He wasn't getting his secondary pitches over very well but he gave us a chance to win."

Thompson has now won the last two Class B American Legion baseball titles over Carrington. Before that, Post 25 won three-straight state titles.

"If we're meeting down the road it means both teams are doing something right," Ranum said.

"Both are good baseball towns and obviously Thompson has a good core talent of kids."

Carrington will be playing in the Central Plains Regional for the first time since 2015, when Post 25 made the semifinals before losing to Foley (Minn.) 6-4.

"We get the opportunity to represent North Dakota and I don't take that lightly," Ranum said.

Game 14

Thompson 5, Carrington 2

CAR 000 010 1 -- 2 8 2

THO 013 000 X -- 5 6 1

W--Tyler Hegg. L--Kyle Leapaldt. S--Marcus Hughes.

Post 25 highlights: Jayden Shipman 2-4, RBI; Drew Page 2-3, 2 R; Lucas Geiszler 1-4; Trey Rosenau 1-3; Seth Nelson 1-3; Zach Johnson 1-3; Kyle Leapaldt 6 IP, 4 ER, 5 R; 6 H, 3 K, 3 BB.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853