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Bauer helps Bismarck shut out WF at ND Class 2A state legion tournament

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Kole Bauer picked the right time to have the best outing of his career.

Allowing just two hits and striking out 11 over nine innings, the Bismarck hurler blanked West Fargo 3-0 at the North Dakota Class 2A state American Legion tournament Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium.

“I’ve never had stuff like this,” said Bauer, who also walked three and hit two. “All my stuff was working.”

The win sends the Governors (38-8) to the Central Plains Regional, which starts Thursday in Fargo. Fargo Post 2 is the host team and is also playing for a state championship today, so Bismarck will officially represent North Dakota.

Bismarck has to beat Post 2 twice today to win a state title. The first game is set for 1 p.m.

“We think we deserve to play in a regional and we got that job done today,” Bauer said.

Bismarck coach Mike Skytland said losing to Fargo earlier in the day made the Govs reassess their goals.

“Our first goal was to win this one, because this team deserves to play in the regional,” Skytland said. “But we’re not satisfied, and we’re gonna try to win two (today). We’ll give everything we have for that.”

Many teams may find themselves short on pitching on the final day, but Bismarck isn’t one of them. Skytland is sending out West Region senior athlete of the year Logan Krivoruchka, who hasn’t thrown a pitch in the tournament.

“We’re extremely deep on pitching,” Bauer said. “We’ve barely scratched the surface of our rotation. We’re gonna throw it all on the table.”

Fourth-seeded West Fargo (24-18) made a run into the final three, but couldn’t solve Bauer. Camran Bonnema, who had his team’s only two hits, took the loss.

“He was locating the ball really well and missing our bats pretty good,” West Fargo coach Bill Ibach said. “I’m glad we were competitive at the end.”

B 000 000 030–3 7 0

WF 000 000 000–0 2 1

Kole Bauer and Quinn Irey. Camran Bonnema, Brennan Thiele (8) and Ben Bruenjes. W–Bauer. L–Bonnema.