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Bismarck bests Fargo twice for ND Class 2A Legion title

Behind five long balls, the Governors beat Fargo Post 2 by scores of 7-4 and 9-5 in capturing its first championship since 1997 on Sunday at Jack Brown Stadium.

“Must be something we ate,” Bismarck’s Hunter Walsh joked. “We were getting deep into counts and hitting the ball the other way. And here at Jack Brown, it’s a smaller field. We took advantage of it today.”

Both teams will participate in the Central Plains Regional, which starts Thursday at Jack Williams Stadium in Fargo. Post 2 is the tournament host and gets an automatic bid.

“Hopefully we don’t feel too down about this,” Post 2 coach Luke Rustad said. “We need to be able to play good baseball next week.”

Walsh finished with two homers, which seemed to be the theme of the final day. Eight balls left the park in total.

“They just did a good job of taking the outside high pitches and staying on them,” Rustad said. “They got them up into the wind. And with the wind blowing out to right, it doesn’t take a lot to put it out of this park if you get the ball high enough.”

Kole Bauer, Josh Seibel and Trent Bohan also homered for Bismarck, which fell to Fargo in the battle of the two unbeatens on Saturday. Fargo needed just one win to capture its second straight state title.

“You have to give everything to Fargo – they played their hearts out,” Walsh said. “It’s an honor to beat a team like them twice. We never gave up and fought until the end.”

Two-run shots from Bauer and Seibel in the first inning of the opener gave Bismarck a 4-0 lead it never relinquished, with Logan Krivoruchka pitching into the seventh for the win.

Walsh’s two-run bomb in the second inning of the second game helped the Governors to an early 3-0 advantage. Reliever Jake Brucker came on in the fifth and pitched to three batters for the win.

Bismarck leadoff hitter Jared Spooner was the tournament MVP, finishing 8-for-15 with 13 walks in 30 plate appearances.

Despite home runs from Andrew Penney, Chris Prisinzano and Seth Tollefson, Post 2 couldn’t overcome Bismarck’s offense. Stranding 19 runners in two games didn’t help, either.

“We had plenty of opportunities to tie the game,” Rustad said. “If we answered with one, they came back and answered with two. They hit the ball and beat us today.”

F                            000      000     202–4  13    2

B                            400      001     20x–7  12    0

Rider, Anderson (6) and Penney. Krivoruchka, Wolf (7) and Irey. W–Krivoruchka. L–Rider. HR: F, Penney. B, Buaer, Seibel, Walsh.

B                            030      211     020–9  11    2

F                            000      111     020–5  12    2

Dinga, Brucker (5), Bohan (5) and Irey. Voss, Prisinzano (5), Salentine (8) and Penney. W–Brucker. L–Voss. HR–B, Walsh, Bohan. F, Prisinzano, Tollefson.

Aarhus writes for the Jamestown Sun