Posted 5/01/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
With high school baseball compressed into a much shorter season because of a late spring, the Watford City Wolves took to the field for the first time last week in a flurry of six games over a three-day period.
The Wolves opened their season picking up wins over Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood and Lewis & Clark on Thursday, April 25, and then came back on Friday to pick up wins over Des Lacs and Trinity Christian. But Watford City’s winning steak came to an end on Saturday as the Wolves lost a pair of games to
“All in all it was a long three days,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We saw some good things and some things we need to correct. It gave us a pretty good look at the things we need to work on going forward.”
With most area baseball fields still not playable because of the late spring snows, Watford City and Williston will be hosting all of the regional games.
This week, games on tap include Lewis & Clark taking on New Town at 2 p.m. on Thursday with games between New Town vs. Watford City and Lewis & Clark vs. Watford City following. On Friday, Watford will host the Dickinson High freshman team at 5 p.m. Saturday’s schedule has Watford City hosting Trinity Christian at 11 a.m. with two other games possibly following. The schedule for Tuesday, May 7 calls for Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood to take on Lewis & Clark at 2 p.m. with games featuring Lewis & Clark vs. Watford City and Watford City vs. Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood to follow.
Watford City 11, MLS 1
In their first game since Dickinson on April 12, Watford City rolled over Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood, 11-1, on April 25.
“Andrew Sampsel had a very good day on the mound,” stated Johnsrud. “He pitched all six innings and tallied 11 strikeouts and only gave up one walk.”
Watford City got on the scoreboard with one run in the first inning and led MLS 4-1 before the Wolves exploded for six runs in the fifth inning to put the game on ice.
“Our defense played well behind Spampsel on the few balls that were put in play,” stated Johnsrud. “We hit well from the plate with six players having at least one hit.”
R H E
Watford City 1 0 3 0 6 1 11 10 2
MLS 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1
Watford City 10, Lewis & Clark 7
Watford City closed out Thursday’s action with a hard-fought 10-7 win over Lewis & Clark.
After a scoreless first inning, the Wolves scored one run in each of the next two innings before tacking on five runs in the fourth inning to lead the Crusaders 7-2. Trinity Christian would cut the lead to 7-5 after five innings. Both teams scored runs in the sixth inning with the Wolves taking the win after the Crusaders failed to take the lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Dakota Neether picked up the win on the mound for the Wolves.
At the plate, Andrew Sampsel was two for four with a double and four RBIs, while Nate Egeberg and Quayde Shores went two for three.
“We had another good pitching performance from Dakota Neether who pitched five innings recording four strikeouts and three walks,” stated Johnsrud. “Our defense played well with only two errors.”
R H E
L&C 0 0 0 0 2 3 2 7 13 1
Watford City 0 1 1 5 0 3 x 10 11 2
Watford City 12, Des Lacs 7
In spite of a cold start, Watford City kept its winning streak going as the Wolves got by Des Lacs, 12-7, on Friday.
Watford City trailed Des Lacs 6-1 after four innings of play, but a huge 10-run fifth inning turned what could have been a loss into a big win.
“Our bats had cooled off from Thursday for the first four innings,” stated Johnsrud. “We had a big fifth inning getting a couple of walks followed by hits and tallied 10 runs in the inning. It was nice to see us push through some mistakes early on in the game and come up with the win.”
Nate Engeberg started the game on the mound and pitched three innings for the Wolves before Quayde Shores finished the game on the mound.
R H E
DLB 0 0 2 4 1 0 0 7 5 2
Watford City 0 1 0 0 101 0 12 9 3
Watford 6, Trinity Christian 3
After playing two days of varsity action, Watford City and Trinity Christian went to their bench in Friday’s game.
With both squads playing their younger players, the Wolves still pulled off a 7-2 win.
Freshman Brandon Roff had a big game for the Wolves as he struck out nine batters in five innings and then had a grand slam in the fifth inning.
“Roff pitched very well in his first varsity action for the Wolves,” stated Johnsrud. “He also put the Wolves ahead with a third inning grand slam.”
Trinity Christian led the Wolves 2-0 before Roff’s grand slam. Watford City then tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to take the win.
“It was a good chance to see what some of our younger players could do,” stated Johnsrud. “With the weather this spring and our shortened season, our younger players suffer because most of their games have been cancelled.”
R H E
Trinity Christian 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 3 4 2
Watford City 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 6 5 0
Beulah 14, Watford City 3
Beulah 5, Watford City 1
Watford City was no match for Beulah, the defending state champions, on Saturday as the Miners took a pair of games from the Wolves.
And after playing two long days of baseball, Johnsrud knew that something had to give for his team.
“Six games in three days is a grind,” stated Johnsrud. “We had limited pitching available. But I thought it was important to get those games in.”
The Wolves dropped the first game to Beulah, 14-3, and then lost the second game, 5-1.
Watford City struggled at the plate in the first game scoring just three runs on two hits with Beulah breaking the game open in the second inning as the Miners scored seven runs with two outs.
“We had chances to make plays and get out of the inning,” stated Johnsrud. “But mistakes (walks and three errors) cost us.”
While the Wolves also lost the second game, Johnsrud was pleased with the way his team bounced back.
“We bounced back in game two and played much better behind Dustin Kleppen,” stated Johnsrud. “He threw strikes and allowed the defense to make plays.”
Brandon Allex picked up the loss for the Wolves in the first game with Dustin Kleppen picking up the loss in the second game for Watford City.
Game 1 R H E
Beulah 0 7 4 3 0 14 6 1
Watford City 0 0 0 3 0 3 2 6
Game 2 R H E
Beulah 2 0 1 0 2 5 5 2
Watford City 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0