Bryant Larson was a pitch away from perfection Monday at Fargo North baseball field. The North senior settled for a no-hitter. Larson faced the minimum and struck out 16 batters to spark the Spartans to a 4-0 victory against Fargo South in the Ga...
Bryant Larson was a pitch away from perfection Monday at Fargo North baseball field.
The North senior settled for a no-hitter.
Larson faced the minimum and struck out 16 batters to spark the Spartans to a 4-0 victory against Fargo South in the Game 1 of an Eastern Dakota Conference baseball doubleheader.
Larson walked the second batter he faced, just missing the outside corner on a 3 balls, 2 strikes count. That was the only baserunner (who was later thrown out on the base paths) Larson allowed.
"My slider was really working for me," said Larson, who threw 91 pitches. "I could always rely on that. ... In the third or fourth (inning), I started to realize all my pitches were working for me."
North scored a 5-3 victory in Game 2 behind another strong pitching performance. Junior Ryan Messerschmidt pitched 6Zc innings and combined with reliever Jake Nystrom for a one-hitter.
The Spartans (13-4, 9-3 EDC) moved ahead of South (11-4, 10-4) into first place in the EDC. Both games counted in the conference standings.
"Two conference wins for us was really good considering we were playing a team that was ahead of us," North coach Jeff Fiechtner said. "That puts us on par with them. I still think South is the team to beat in the EDC. We played pretty well tonight."
South scored all three of its runs in the second game on passed balls. The Bruins had runners on second and third base with two outs in the seventh inning in Game 2.
However, Nystrom struck out Bruins No. 3 hitter Kyle Kingsley to end the potential tying rally and secure the sweep.
South coach Donn Bryant was frustrated his team was able to generate just one hit in 14 innings.
"We swung at everything," South coach Donn Bryant said. "We don't know our own strike zones. As a hitter, you have to know what pitches you can handle and what pitches you can't.
"We tried to come back at the end. That was good."
In Game 1, Larson retired the last 19 batters he faced. At one point, he struck out 10 consecutive South batters. The 6-foot-4 right-hander didn't allow a ball out of the infield.
"He kept on throwing strikes," Fiechtner said. "He didn't get behind. He kept a good rhythm."
Kingsley went the distance for South in the first game, striking out 17 batters. He allowed eight hits, all singles. However, five of those hits came in North's four-run fourth inning.
Spartans sophomore Matt Fiechtner keyed that rally, smacking a two-run single to right field.
"We put that string together and that was it," Jeff Fiechtner said. "I think Kingsley threw well, I really do."
North 000 400 0- 4 8 0
South 000 000 0- 0 0 3
Larson and Hoffman. Kingsley and Beneke, Wolf (6). W-Larson. L-Kingsley.
South 001 000 2- 3 1 3
North 410 000 0- 5 6 3
Edland and Beneke. Messerschmidt, Nystrom (7) and Hoffman. W-Messerschmidt. L-Edland. S-Nystrom.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.
Peterson's prep sports blog can be found at www.areavoices.com