JAMESTOWN, N.D. — For a community that's become known for dominating the high school gridiron, the boys of Langdon-Edmore-Munich can play a little baseball, too.
As a matter of fact, legendary Mayville State University baseball coach Scott Berry appears to have snagged a local gem in the Cardinals' Cooper Zimmer.
The senior needed 87 pitches to go the distance against LaMoure-Litchville-Marion in Saturday's state Class B baseball championship game at Jack Brown Stadium. Zimmer picked up two of his three strikeouts in the final inning and was mobbed by teammates on the mound after getting the Loboes' Tate Mart to ground out to third to end the game 9-1 in favor of the Cardinals.
At 24-0, Zimmer and the Cardinals have added an undefeated baseball title to Langdon-Edmore-Munich's string of three unbeaten Class A football titles, a program that's currently riding a 38-game winning streak heading into next fall.
"I was just glad I was able to fire strikes today and get guys behind me to make plays," said an emotional Zimmer, who's committed to play baseball at Mayville State. "Coming from losing those three years straight in the regionals and then to come here and win it all? It makes it feel amazing that everything worked out."
L-E-M head coach Josh Krivarchka thought the Cardinals would've been solid a year ago before COVID-19 robbed everyone of a season. Also the Cardinals' head football coach, Krivarchka said Saturday's plan worked out exactly how they drew it up.
Zimmer tossed 27 relief pitches in Thursday's 6-1 victory over Beulah, giving him 108 pitches to work with against the Loboes. But the Cardinals had Grant Romfo — Thursday's winning pitcher — waiting in the wings with 58 available bullets had the Loboes' offense began to click.
Zimmer allowed just four hits and the Loboes' run came unearned in the sixth after the Cardinals' nearly 10-run ruled L-L-M in the fifth, stranding a runner at second with Simon Romfo at the plate.
Simon Romfo — who can add the Class B senior baseball player of the year award next to his Class A senior football player of the year award — hit the tournament's only home run, a 380-foot blast to left-center against Beulah, and grounded out to first to end the fifth.
"We wanted to throw Cooper, and if we got five innings out of him we knew we had Grant (Romfo) in our back pocket," said Krivarchka, who was named Class B's baseball coach of the year. "But Cooper was sailing along throwing strikes and there was no reason to get him off the mound. He did a whale of a job for us."
Mart led off the game for the Loboes with a ringing double to center, but L-L-M would strand six runners and weren't able to solve Zimmer with any consistency. Five errors also stung the Loboes, who were making their first appearance in the state Class B title game.
"We hit the ball, but it was right at 'em and when they got guys on they made the big hit. We didn't," said L-L-M coach Derold Haugen. "There's nothing wrong with being second. There's a lot of teams that would be here. It gives us a goal for next year and, like I said, these are good kids.
"They all know the game of baseball and it's just great coaching them."
Zimmer helped himself out at the dish, striking a two-run single to center in the bottom of the first off L-L-M starter Landon Piehl that gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Zimmer finished 3-for-4 at the plate.
Piehl only had 51 pitches remaining to start the game and struck out Markus Kingzett to record the second out of the bottom of the fourth before reaching his pitch limit. The next three Cardinal batters all reached base on reliever Connor Johnson, with Grant Romfo extending the lead to 5-0 with a two-run double.
L-E-M kept its foot on the gas in the fifth, receiving a Jack Romfo two-run single as the team nearly ended the game early. Simon Romfo sent a foul ball to right field that had home run distance before grounding out to first.
"I knew we were capable of coming out here and getting runs up," Zimmer said.
Langdon's last, and previously only, appearance in the Class B baseball state championship game was a 6-3 loss to Steele-Dawson-Napoleon-Wing-Tuttle-Pettibone in 2006. Edmore won back-to-back championships in 1980-81. Munich won back-to-back championships in 1991-92.
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion had never been represented in the state Class B baseball title game until Saturday.
"I feel great for the kids," said Krivarchka, who has been named the Class A football coach of the year the past four consecutive seasons. "We thought last year we'd have a heckuva baseball season and we didn't get to play in the spring. For these kids to come out and perform like they did where the state can see them, it's great to see and it shows the type of baseball players they are, too."
LLM 000 001 0 — 1 4 5
LEM 201 240 X — 9 12 3
Batteries: LLM, Landon Piehl, Connor Johnson (4) and Garrett Hebl.
LEM, Cooper Zimmer and Carter Tetrault. W-Zimmer. L-Piehl.
Highlights: LLM, Piehl 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 SO, 1 BB, 53 NP; Johnson 2 1/3 IP 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB, 0 HR, 47 NP; Tate Mart 1-3, 2B, BB; Anthony Hanson 0-2, BB, R; Dalton Madcke 2-3, Cyle Warcken 1-3.
LEM, Zimmer 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 SO, 2 BB, 0 HR, 87 NP; Grant Romfo 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R; Zimmer 3-4, 2 RBI, R; Mason Romfo 2-4, 2 R; Carter Tetrault 1-4, R; Jack Romfo 1-4, 2 RBI, R; Brady Regner 1-4, Markus Kingzett 1-3, R; Gage Goodman 1-2, RBI.
Records: Langdon/EM 24-0. LaMoure/LM 18-3.
Class B senior athlete of the year: Simon Romfo, Langdon/EM.
Class B coach of the year: Josh Krivarchka, Langdon/EM.
Thompson broke open a 2-1 contest with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take down Renville County 6-1 in Saturday's third-place game of the state Class B baseball tournament at Jack Brown Stadium.
Connor Welsh uncorked a two-run double -- the game's only extra-base hit -- to center, while Thomas Schumacher and Tyler Cunningham posted RBI singles in the four-run frame.
Welsh pitched the first two innings, allowing the Muskrats their lone run unearned. Reece Berberich put zeros on the board the rest of the way for the Tommies, who finished the season at 19-6.
Central Cass defeated Minot Bishop Ryan/South Prairie 6-3 for fifth place.
Ethan Muchow delivered a two-run double during the Squirrels' three-run third inning, pushing home what eventually would amount to the game-winning runs. Max Kobbervig went the distance on the hill for the winners, allowing the three earned runs with five strikeouts in 114 pitches.
Beulah's Trey Brandt tossed a two-hit shutout in a 4-0 Miners' victory over North Star for seventh place.
The Miners hung all four of their runs on the scoreboard in the third inning, receiving RBI singles from Aaron Ripplinger, Cruz Reigel and Zach Phelps.
State Class B Baseball Tournament
(1) Langdon/Edmore/Munich 9, (3) LaMoure/Litchville-Marion 1
(4) Thompson 6, Renville County 1
R 001 000 0 — 1 5 4
T 110 400 X — 6 5 1
Batteries: R, Gannon Hall, Joe Savelkoul (4) and Stetson Helwig. T, Connor Welsh, Reece Berberich (3) and Zach Peterson. W-Berberich. L-Hall.
Highlights: R, Hall 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 3 SO, 2 BB, 0 HR, 74 NP; Savelkoul 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 SO, 0 BB, 0 HR, 40 NP; James Santos 2-4, Jayln Derr 1-2, R.
T, Welsh 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR, 30 NP; Berberich 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 3 BB, 0 HR, 71 NP; Connor Welsh 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB; Thomas Schumacher 1-4, RBI, R; Tyler Cunningham 1-3, RBI; Brayden Wolfram 1-3, RBI, R.
Records: Thompson 19-6. Renville Co. 24-6.
(2) Central Cass 6, (5) Minot Bishop Ryan/South Prairie 3
B 001 020 0 — 3 8 1
C 013 101 X — 6 9 3
Batteries: B, Seth Roedocker, Jaxon Feller (4) and Feller, Roedocker (4). C, Max Kobbervig and Sam Kobbervig. W-M. Kobbervig. L-Roedocker.
Higlights: B, Roedocker 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR, 43 NP; Feller 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 SO, 3 BB, 0 HR, 53 NP; Feller 1-4, 2B, RBI; Brady Feller 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Roedocker 2-4; Josh Will 2-4, 2B, R.
C, M. Kobbervig 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 SO, 2 BB, 0 HR, 114 NP; Ethan Muchow 2-3, 2B, RBI, R; S. Kobbervig 2-3, Brendan Massjo 1-3, RBI, R; Will Ellison 1-3, BB, 2 R.
Records: Central Cass 22-5. Bishop Ryan 25-11.
Beulah 4, North Star 0
B 004 000 0 — 4 5 0
N 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Batteries: B, Trey Brandt and Ronan Klindworth. N, Zachary Jorde, Karsen Simon (5), Jeremiah Hill (7) and Hill, Garrett Westlind (7). W-Brandt. L-Jorde.
Highlights: B, Brandt 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 9 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR, 87 NP; Cruz Riegel 2-3, 2B, RBI, R, BB; Trapper Skalsky 1-3, 2B, BB; Aaron Ripplinger 1-4, RBI, R; Zayne Phelps 1-2, RBI.
N, Jorde 4 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 SO, 6 BB, 0 HR, 81 NP; Simon 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB; Hill 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 SO, 11 NP; Jorde 1-2, Bryce Prouty 1-2.
Records: Beulah 21-13. North Star 10-5.