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St. Cloud proves too much for Omaha at the American Legion Division I Central Plains Regional

St. Cloud’s Brian Minks dives back to the bag just ahead of the tag of Omaha’s Craig Petrich during an American Legion Central Plains Regional game on Thursday in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – Getting runners on base was not a problem for the St. Cloud (Minn.) Chutes on Thursday at Jack Williams Stadium.

Bringing them in for runs, however, was a problem – at least early in the game.

The Chutes’ offense broke through in the seventh inning, leading to a 10-1 win over Omaha (Neb.) PI Midwest during the opening round of the American Legion Division I Central Plains Regional baseball tournament.

“All year we have been starting slow,” St. Cloud head coach Dave Wenner said. “It seems like once we get more relaxed and start seeing the pitches better, we start to score runs. We do well when we are aggressive at the plate, swinging at fastballs, and that’s usually when things start opening up for us.”

St. Cloud (25-4) advances to the 8 p.m. winner’s-bracket game today.

St. Cloud plated a run in the third inning when Jeff Fasching drove in Thomas Imholte on an RBI single.

The Chutes left the bases loaded in the third and left a total of nine runners on base through six innings.

Relief came in the seventh inning when St. Cloud tallied three runs on four hits.

Steven Neutzling drove in Brian Minks on a sacrifice fly and three batters later, St. Cloud right fielder Tommy Auger provided a two-run single with two outs that scored Fasching and Jack Schramel.

“I was looking fastball and was able to fight a few pitches off before I finally got a hold of one on 3-2,” Auger said.

St. Cloud added six runs in the eighth and sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

“Once we got their starter (Jeff O’Dogherty) out of the game and got to their relievers, we started to hit the ball a lot better,” Auger said.

St. Cloud starter Brindley Theisen gave up one run off nine hits and struck out three batters in eight innings of work to earn the win.

Omaha PI Midwest (42-11) plays in the 1 p.m. loser’s bracket today.

SC 001 000 360–10 16 1

O 000 000 010– 1 9 1

Theisen, Neutzling (9) and Imholte. J. O’Doherty, Vipond (7) and Vosik (8), Zagozda (8) and Emodi. W–Theisen. L–J. O’Doherty.

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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