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Fargo hits seven homers in victory

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- All Ross Olson could do was shake his head, shrug his shoulders and smile. The Fargo Post 2 center fielder had no explanation for his performance Thursday at Devils Lake Legion Field. "I have no clue where that came from,...

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- All Ross Olson could do was shake his head, shrug his shoulders and smile.

The Fargo Post 2 center fielder had no explanation for his performance Thursday at Devils Lake Legion Field.

"I have no clue where that came from," Olson said.

Olson cracked three home runs to lead his team to a 13-2 victory in seven innings against Valley City in the second round of the North Dakota Class A American Legion state baseball tournament.

Post 2 hit seven home runs in all against Valley City. Along with Olson, Clay Solum cracked two homers, while Matt Rau and Scott Van Dyk smacked one each.

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"They are just bigger and stronger than we are," Valley City coach Buff Murray said. "That's all there is to it. Seven home runs will kill you anytime."

Solum and Olson hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning and the derby was started.

Olson cleared the left-field fence in each of his three at-bats. He was hit by a pitch in his fourth plate appearance and finished with five RBI and scored four runs.

Olson had hit just one home run on the season entering the game.

"It was nice to see Ross break out like that," Fargo coach Bill Ibach said. "I have no explanation for it. I would take it again, though. That would be nice."

Post 2 starting pitcher Jay Clark took advantage of the hefty run support, pitching seven strong innings. The right-hander scattered nine hits and struck out 11, while walking just one batter.

"He did a good job," Ibach said. "He stayed ahead of the hitters for the most part."

Fargo (44-14) edged Valley City (21-22) just 10-9 in the hit department.

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But eight of Valley City's hits were singles.

"We knew we were going to have a tough time playing with those guys," Murray said. "We had almost as many hits as they did, but we didn't hit the ball in the air. They hit the ball hard."

Ibach was happy his team didn't become Valley City's second consecutive upset victim. Post 60 defeated Western Division top seed Williston in Wednesday's first round.

"I was happy we didn't look past Valley City more than anything," Ibach said. "We didn't think they were going to come out and roll over."

Fargo 023 050 3--13 10 1

Valley City 010 010 0-- 2 9 1

Clark and Rau, Ouren (7). Anderson, Thornton (4), Lukes (7) and Thornton, Killoran (4), Thornton (7). W--Clark (7-0). L--Anderson (2-2). HR--Fargo, Solum 2, Olson 3, Rau, Van Dyk.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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