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Paper pitches WF to win at ND Class 2A state Legion tournament

West Fargo pitcher Noah Paper finishes his delivery during a game against Jamestown at the North Dakota Class 2A state Legion tournament on Friday. Chris Aarhus / Forum News Service

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Noah Paper was determined to keep his team alive going into the weekend.

The West Fargo right-hander went all nine innings, scattering six hits as the Patriots ended Jamestown’s season with a 6-0 win at the North Dakota Class 2A state Legion baseball tourney Friday night at Jack Brown Stadium.

The fourth-seeded Patriots (24-17) play second-seeded Grand Forks in a loser-out game at 3 p.m. today.

Paper appeared to grow stronger as the game wore on, striking out three of his final five hitters.

He walked five, hit one and struck out nine, buckling down when the Patriots needed him most. Jamestown stranded 11 runners.

West Fargo broke up a scoreless contest when Austen Gilbertson walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. An errant throw behind the plate led to another run, and Ben Strahm followed with an RBI single to go ahead 3-0.

Paper also led the Patriots at the plate, going 3-for-5 including a two-run single in a three-run eighth inning.

Jamestown’s Joey Gebhardt, who got the win against Mandan in the play-in game on Tuesday night, battled his way through six innings in the loss. Post 14 (12-29) was led at the plate by Nick Fuchs’ 2-for-3 performance.

WF 000 030 03x–6 9 0

Joey Gebhardt, Nick Fuchs (7) and Shaun Hogan, Gebhardt (7). Noah Paper and Ben Bruenjes. W–Paper. L–Gebhardt.

Grand Forks 18, Minot 10

Kaden Monette wasn’t concerned about Minot rallying on Friday night.

The Grand Forks hitter, from the ninth spot in the order, finished 3-for-4 in helping the Royals to a marathon 18-10 win over Minot at the North Dakota Class 2A state Legion tournament at Jack Brown Stadium.

“I was seeing the ball really well and putting it in play,” Monette said. “I had good swings. ... There wasn’t a lot of pressure. We knew we could handle them.”

Second-seeded Grand Forks kept its season alive and meets Jamestown or West Fargo at 3 p.m. today.

“Pitching depth is one of our strengths, so I’m not too concerned about that,” Grand Forks coach Nick Chine said. “For us, it’s always about offense.”

Offense wasn’t an issue against Minot, pounding out 18 hits and forcing Minot to go deep into its well. The Vistas used six pitchers.

“I don’t know if we so much figured out their pitching as much as they were thin on pitching,” Chine said. “That certainly helped us.”

In the fourth inning, Binstock had an RBI single to tie the game at two and Monette’s ensuing two-run single gave Grand Forks the lead for good, which didn’t surprise Chine.

“He’s in the nine-hole for a reason,” Chine said. “He turns the lineup over for us. If he reaches, he’s a threat to steal every bag.”

Grand Forks dumped 10 runs on Minot in the fifth inning, sending 15 batters to the plate. However, Minot rallied for six runs in the bottom half to get within five at 14-9.

The inning conjured up bad memories for Chine, whose team gave up an eight-run lead to Minot at the state tournament a few years ago.

“They’ve proven that they are resilient,” Chine said of the Vistas. “There wasn’t any quit in them.”

Chaise Anderson and Jace Braathen also had big days with four RBIs each for the Royals.

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Colin Hennessy, Brandon Walters (5) and Kaleb Binstock. Shawn Danielson, Trever Ringoen (4), Hunter Duttenhefer (5), Alex Arrayan (5), Brady Lampert (6), Conor Taney (6) and Braden Lach. W–Walters. L–Danielson. HR: M, Larson.

Loser-out games

Jamestown 3, Dickinson 1

Nick Fuchs scored the game-winning run on a Lucas Jones balk in the seventh inning and Jamestown (12-28) added an insurance run in the eighth in a 3-1 victory that sent Dickinson (24-19) home.

Landon Weiser went seven solid innings for the host team, and Tyler Ukestad pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Dickinson out-hit Jamestown 7-5, but couldn’t plate more than one runner, which made for a tough loss for starter Brett Schweitzer.

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J 000 010 10x–3 5 1

Brett Schweitzer, Lucas Jones (7) and Mark Erickson. Landon Weiser, Tyler Ukestad (8) and Joey Gebhardt. W–Weiser. L–Schweitzer. Save–Ukestad.

Minot 8, Fargo Post 400 7

Jake Magnuson’s three-run single tied the game and Chandler Jacob’s line drive plated Magnuson as Minot rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate Fargo Post 400.

Minot’s Grant Larson and Dalton Cooper each hit home runs.

Fargo Post 400 (6-24) saw starter Erik Engel throw 172 pitches, going 8 X\c innings in the loss.

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M 003 100 004–8 8 9

Austin Engel, Conner Ryan (9) and Dave Mehlhoff. Grant Larson, Dalton Cooper (4), Trever Ringoen (8) and Jake Magnuson. W–Ringoen. L–Engel. HR: Minot, Larson, Cooper.

Chris Aarhus
Aarhus has been a sportswriter for the Jamestown Sun since May of 2012. Prior to that, he was the sports editor at the Minot Daily News and The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D. He also worked as a sports writer at The Dickinson Press. He was honored as North Dakota's Sportswriter of the Year for 2014.
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