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Wahpeton bests Beulah in ND Class 1A state legion tournament play

WAHPETON, N.D. – Nate Beyer mostly pitched for Wahpeton’s Junior Legion baseball team this summer, but he performed like a veteran for the senior team Saturday at John Randall Field.

Beyer tossed a complete game to help lift Wahpeton Post 20 to an 8-2 victory against Beulah to remain unbeaten in the North Dakota Class 1A American Legion state tournament, advancing to the championship game.

“He would have been on our Legion team if we didn’t have two teams … so we wanted him to play with some of his classmates,” Wahpeton coach Chris Kappes said of the 16-year-old Beyer. “So he was the ace of the (Junior Legion) staff.”

Beyer was efficient in just his second American Legion start this summer. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit or run through the first four innings and limited Beulah to three hits in the game. Beyer threw 68 pitches, including 49 strikes, as Wahpeton eliminated Beulah from the tournament.

“I was very confident. We have a very good defense behind me,” Beyer said. “I just had to throw strikes. I don’t need to throw it past anyone, because I probably can’t.”

Wahpeton plays Velva Post 39 at 1 p.m. today for the state championship. Velva would have to beat Wahpeton twice to win the tournament.

“It makes the road a little bit easier on us,” Kappes said of heading into today undefeated. “We want to win that first game.”

Wahpeton has been dominant to this point in the tournament, outscoring its opponents 30-3 in four wins. Wahpeton has received four complete games from its pitchers, including Beyer’s performance.

“You can’t order anything up more than that,” Kappes said. “I’ve been happy with our starting pitchers the whole tournament. … Through the first four games, you can’t ask for much more.”

Wahpeton had five different players drive in runs in Saturday’s victory against Beulah. Post 20 scored two runs in the first inning and added another run in the second. That proved to be all the offense Beyer would need.

Beulah’s Pat Becker broke up Beyer’s no-hitter with a double off the wall in left field to lead off the fifth inning. Becker later came around to score on a groundout.

Beulah added one run and its final two hits in the seventh inning.

“I thought they’d hit the ball a lot more, but my defense made a lot of plays,” Beyer said. “I was hitting my corners with fastball, and I’m confident with my curveball.”

Wahpeton cleanup hitter Kameron McNary paced the offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. McNary capped Wahpeton’s three-run fourth inning, dumping an RBI double into right field.

Kappes said Brock Lingen is slated to start today against Velva.

B 000 010 1–2 3 1

W 210 320 x–8 4 3

Remmick, Becker (4) and Mellmer, Norton (6). Beyer and Edwardson. W-Beyer. L-Remmick.

Velva 15, Valley City 1

Center fielder Drew Effertz cracked four hits and drove in five runs to help power Velva to victory in an elimination game.

V 434 40 –15 15 1

VC 010 000 –1 2 4

Engebretson and Mack. A. Meyer, Johnson (3), Berg (4), Miller (5), S. Meyer (5) and Miller. W-Engebretson. L-A. Meyer.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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