ND Class B state baseball: Central Cass falls in championship game

MANDAN, N.D. - After squandering several opportunities, the Minot Ryan Lions finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning of Saturday's North Dakota Class B state baseball tournament title game.

Central Cass' Jack Wilcox
Central Cass' Jack Wilcox heads home after an errant pickoff throw by Minot Ryan on Saturday in Mandan. Will Kincaid / Special to The Forum

MANDAN, N.D. - After squandering several opportunities, the Minot Ryan Lions finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning of Saturday's North Dakota Class B state baseball tournament title game.

Then they held on to win their third straight state title.

The Lions erased a 3-0 deficit with a four-run sixth on the way to a 4-3 win over Central Cass at Mandan's Memorial Ballpark.

Ryan loaded the bases to start the sixth on singles by Adam Burckhard, Ben Kramer and Kyle Petz. Central Cass starter Beau Sinner then struck out the next two batters, and had a two-strike count on Ben Magnuson. However, Magnuson got hold of a Sinner curveball and looped it into short center to bring in two runs. It was one of the few curveballs the sophomore has connected with all season.

"I've been struggling with that pitch. I think I hit two all year," he said. "But (Sinner) hung one out there and I just reached for it."


Ryan wasn't done. Magnuson's hit sent Petz to third, and the junior scored on a double steal. Tyler Elm then got to first on an error, which brought in Magnuson with the go-ahead run.

Central Cass threatened in the top of the seventh. With one out, Spencer Wahldal reached on an error, and Jacob Mogen followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Magnuson was brought in to relieve starter Petz, and put out the fire. After Jalen Ham was intentionally walked, Magnuson struck out Brandon Rust and got Jack Wilcox to fly out to center.

"It was a real pressure situation, but those are the kinds of situations you dream about," said Magnuson. "I just thought about throwing strikes, that's all. It all worked out."

Ryan won a state title for the sixth time under Bryan Kramer. This one was perhaps the most improbable.

"The one I'm most proud of," coach Kramer said. "We graduated seven seniors from last year's team, and we started out the season with a very, very young team. But these kids improved by leaps and bounds."

CC 000 102 0- 3 7 3

MR 000 004 x- 4 7 4

Sinner and unknown. Petz, Magnuson (7) and unknown. W-Petz. L-Sinner. S-Magnuson.


Third place

Hatton-Northwood 4, Shiloh Christian 0

Andrew Workin pitched a five-hit shutout as Hatton-Northwood took third place.

Workin walked three and struck out 10.

HN 030 100 0- 4 8 2

SC 000 000 0- 0 5 5

Workin and unknown. Knell, Lardy (3) and unknown. W-Workin. L-Knell.

Fifth place


Grafton 17, Munich-Starkweather-NS 14

Grafton scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning en route to winning the fifth-place game.

Travis Beck went 2-for-3 with a homer and six RBIs for MSNS.

G 005 450 3-17 7 3

MSNS 083 030 0-14 7 6

Aasand, Paulson (2), Demers (4), Tweten (6), Martinez (7) and unknown. Goeser, Hoffmann (3), Klein (4), Anderson (4) and unknown. W-Tweten. L-Anderson. S-Martinez. HR-MSNS, Beck.

Seventh place

Dakota Prairie 7, Velva-Drake 6

Alex Herman and Alex Kroke each had two hits as Dakota Prairie picked up a victory in the seventh-place game.

DP 001 600 0- 7 7 2

VD 000 131 1- 6 7 4

Luehring, Lamb (6) and unknown. Mack, Schultz (3), Ystaas (4) and unknown. W-Luehring. L-Mack. S-Lamb.

All-tournament team: Alex Kroke, Dakota Prairie. Jacob Mogen, Central Cass. Brandon Storbeck, Ryan. John Landsiedel, Ryan. Eric Dafforn, Hatton-Northwood. Alex Martinez, Grafton. Beau Sinner, Central Cass. Adam Burckhard, Ryan. Zach Lardy, Shiloh Christian. Tyler Bilden, Hatton-Northwood. Todd Paulson, Grafton. Alex Jacobson, Central Cass. Ben Magnuson, Ryan. Ben Kramer, Ryan. Brandon Rust, Central Cass.

Senior athlete of the year: Ben Kramer, Ryan.

Coach of the year: Garrett Magner, Dakota Prairie.

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