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Eric Peterson column: Pitchers give hope to Wolverines

Hope-Page baseball coach Mark Frost wasn't sure what to expect from his team this spring. The Wolverines entered the season with unproven arms. The pitching staff is no longer an unknown commodity. "This has been kind of a surprise," ...

Hope-Page baseball coach Mark Frost wasn't sure what to expect from his team this spring.

The Wolverines entered the season with unproven arms.

The pitching staff is no longer an unknown commodity.

"This has been kind of a surprise," Frost said.

Senior right-hander Tony Champion, junior left-hander Cody Leadbetter and sophomore right-hander Brady Burchill have emerged to form a solid staff.

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Champion, who primarily played catcher the last two seasons, has a 4-1 record with a 1.80 ERA. He also has a no-hitter to his credit. Leadbetter, who played on the junior varsity last season, sports a 3-0 record with a 3.00 ERA. Burchill, who was a reliever last season, is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA.

"I knew if we got some pitching we'd be alright," Frost said.

The Wolverines (15-9 overall, 15-5 Region 1) earned the top seed for the Class B Region 1 tournament, which starts Monday. Hope-Page held off perennially strong Enderlin in the process.

Burchill (.520 batting average), Champion (.490 BA) and Leadbetter (.350 BA, 21 RBI) have also been stars at the plate. Junior Joel Mitchell is hitting .450, while senior Aaron Monson has been a valuable full-time utility player.

"We can play guys at different spots and it doesn't hurt us," Frost said. "Our versatility has been nice to have."

Something else

Enderlin left-handed pitcher Alex Kringen struck out 21 batters in 7Zc innings Tuesday as the Eagles split a doubleheader against Hope-Page. ... Jamie Votava of Fargo North, Lindsey Wang of Fargo South and Elizabeth Rood of Wahpeton are the East Region nominees for the state senior player of the year award in girls tennis. Votava was named the East Region Senior Player of the Year. ... Fargo North junior goalkeeper Alesha Row has yet to allow a goal this spring and has nine shutouts for the Spartans, who have a 9-0-1 record. ... Lynette Mund, a former North Dakota State women's basketball standout, has been recommended as the new head girls basketball coach at West Fargo, pending school board approval.

Readers can reach Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513 or epeterson@forumcomm.com

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