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Fargo Post 2 earns place in ND Class 2A state Legion tournament title game

Fargo Post 2’s Mike Boutain celebrates with teammate Steven Rider (7) during a North Dakota Class 2A state Legion tournament game on Saturday. Chris Aarhus / Forum News Service

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Jake Salentine knew his time would come.

After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, the Fargo Post 2 shortstop walked and eventually scored the winning run in the eighth.

He followed that up by starting a 6-4-3 double play in the ninth that secured a 4-3 win over Bismarck at the North Dakota Class 2A state American Legion tournament Saturday at Jack Brown Stadium.

Post 2 (32-16) has to be defeated twice today to keep it from winning its second consecutive crown. The championship game is set for 1 p.m., with a second one to follow if needed.

“It’s definitely where we hoped to be, but the job’s not finished yet,” said Salentine, who also won a high school title with Fargo Shanley. “We’re gonna face a good team in the championship. We need to be ready and not take anything lightly.”

Tied 3-3 in the eighth, Salentine walked and got to second base on a passed ball, eventually going to third when Seth Amundson reached on an error off Bismarck starter Dalton Feeney. Andrew Penney hit a ball to first, but an immediate throw home was high, scoring Salentine.

“I was a little frustrated, but I knew to keep battling and keep fighting,” Salentine said.

Bismarck put a serious scare into Post 2 in the top of the ninth, loading the bases on relievers Andrew Lein and Lincoln Voss with one out.

However, Bismarck’s Josh Seibel hit a sharp grounder to Salentine, who connected with second baseman Seth Tollefson to end the game.

“I know that ball is turned as soon as it’s thrown,” Fargo coach Luke Rustad said. “Those two are best friends off the field. They’re not from the same high school. But ever since they’ve been playing together, they’ve been inseparable.”

Rustad said the only part that worried him was the path of the ball.

“My eyes got big when I saw how hard it was hit,” Rustad said. “I wondered what kind of hop it was going to take, but it headed in the direction I wanted it to.”

Fargo had a 3-2 lead going into the eighth, when Bismarck’s Trent Bohan belted a solo home run over the right-center field fence off Fargo starter Gunnar Linstaedt to tie the game. Salentine’s run allowed Linstaedt to pick up the win, and Voss recorded the save.

“They took advantage of the chances they had,” Bismarck coach Mike Skytland said. “We hit some balls at people when we had (scoring) opportunities. That ended up being the difference.”

B 020 000 010–3 8 4

F 100 100 11x–4 7 2

Dalton Feeney, Tanner Wolf (8) and Quinn Irey. Gunnar Linstaedt, Andrew Lein (9), Lincoln Voss (9) and Andrew Penney. W–Linstaedt. L–Feeney. Save–Voss. HR: B, Trent Bohan.

West Fargo 8,

Grand Forks 2

Ben Strahm pitched seven strong innings in relief as No. 4 West Fargo kept its season alive with a win over second-seeded Grand Forks.

Marcus Wohl’s RBI single in the fifth tied the game at 2-all. West Fargo scored two more runs on an error and a squeeze play by Camran Bonnema to secure a lead it never relinquished.

Grand Forks starter Erik Hanson went all nine innings in the loss.

GF 100 100 000–2 7 4

WF 100 030 04x–8 10 2

Erik Hanson and Brandon Walters. Chase Gooding, Ben Strahm (3) and Ben Bruenjes. W–Strahm. L–Hanson.