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Packers sweep in-town rival Mustangs with stout pitching

West Fargo High's Quinton Vonesh beats the pick-off attempt by West Fargo Sheyenne first baseman Ben Bruhswein Thursday, April 20, 107, during the first game of a double header at Young Field in West Fargo.David Samson / The Forum1 / 2
West Fargo Sheyenne's Denver Blinn dives to tag out West Fargo High's Tanner Petersen in a hot box run down as teammates Christian Kuntz, Brady Beyl and Hayden Reynolds watch the play Thursday, April 20, 107, during the first game of a double header at Young Field in West Fargo.David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

WEST FARGO—In a pitchers' duel between rival schools, the West Fargo Packers found a way to manufacture a run.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jacob Faircloth was hit by a pitch to bring in Tristen Roerich for the game-winning score, giving the Packers a 2-1 Eastern Dakota Conference victory over city rival West Fargo Sheyenne on Thursday, April 20, at Young Field. In the second game of their doubleheader which was a nonconference game, West Fargo continued to rely on pitching to take a 10-0 six-inning win for the sweep in which the Packers committed no errors.

"That's been the way we've thrown the ball so far," West Fargo head coach Brett Peterson said. "They have confidence to attack the zone and don't feel like they have to strike everybody out because they know they've got a good defense behind us. Our pitchers have been doing a good job of pounding the zone and mixing spots."

West Fargo's Ryan Bourassa didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and gave up just three hits and four walks to go with eight strikeouts over seven innings. His only run allowed came on a solo home run by Denver Blinn on a 3-2 curveball that went over the left-field fence in the sixth frame to push a seventh inning.

"I knew I had to battle and keep throwing strikes and hit my spots," Bourassa said. "(Blinn) put a good swing on it, give him props for that. I knew I had to bounce back and throw more strikes."

Sheyenne's Brady Beyl allowed two runs on four hits while striking out one batter and walking five. His first run allowed came on a bases-loaded walk by Jacob Johnson that scored Drake Flesche in the second inning to give the Packers (10-4, 7-1 EDC) an early lead.

"I'm not upset about (the loss) at all," Sheyenne head coach Joel Swanson said. "At this point in the season, I'm happy with the way we stuck in the game."

In the second contest, Flesche gave up no runs on three hits and three strikeouts in the first three innings for the win, and Morgan Kapaun gave up one hit and struck out four batters to complete the Packers' shutout.

In West Fargo's six-run second inning in the second game, Faircloth drove in an RBI double and Parker Borg hit a two-run single to right field to highlight the Packers' offensive jump. Faircloth ended the game going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Borg belted a two-run home run in the fourth inning over the left-field fence, giving him four RBI on three hits in the game.

The Packers put the Mustangs (5-3, 5-2) away when Dustin Mertz drove in Bourassa and Borg on a line drive to center field.

"When we've been good is when we've controlled the at-bats and waited for our pitch," Peterson said. "I thought we did that in the second game. We were much more patient at the plate, and as a result we drove the ball around a little more than in the first game."

WFS 000 001 0--1 3 1

WF 010 000 1--2 4 0

Brady Beyl, Christian Kuntz (7) and Nate Hanson. Ryan Bourassa and Jacob Johnson. W--Bourassa. L--Beyl. HR--WFS, Denver Blinn 1.

WFS 000 000 --0 4 2

WF 060 202 --10 8 0

Hayden Reynolds, Nate Hanson (2) and Luke Wasem, Alex Wigginton (2). Drake Flesche, Morgan Kapaun (4) and Dustin Mertz. W--Flesche. L--Reynolds. HR--WF, Borg 1.

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

(701) 451-5715