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Walleye advance to State Legion Baseball Tournament

Posted 7/29/14 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

With a 5-3 win over Velva in the opening round action of the American Legion West Region Tournament, the Watford City Walleye punched their ticket to the State Class A American Legion Baseball Tournament, which will begin on Wednesday in Wahpeton.
While the Walleye’s third place finish at the Region Tournament was lower than Pat Spacher, Walleye head coach, would have liked, he is still pleased that the team will be heading to State.
“We accomplished what we wanted to at the Region Tournament,” states Spacher. “And that was to have a shot at State.”
For Watford City, the win over Velva on Thursday was the bright spot of the tournament as the Walleye’s bats went uncharacteristically silent for the remainder of the tournament. Watford City fell to Lewis & Clark, 13-6, on Friday and then lost to Beulah, 13-3, on Saturday.
But with the Region Tournament behind them, Spacher has his sights set on a good team effort at State.
“Every team at State is very good,” says Spacher. “From what I’ve heard Wahpeton is the favorite to win it.”
But, according to Spacher, there are going to be several keys to Watford City’s success at State.
“We have to play better defensively and continue to grind out at-bats to be successful at this tournament,” says Spacher. “One of the big keys for us is seeing more pitches than the other team. Over the last several games when we have seen more pitches we have won. And we are going to need big performances out of our six seniors.”
Watford City’s first action at the Class A State American Legion Baseball Tournament will be against Grafton at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30. The tournament will be played at the John Randall Field in the Chahinkapa Park.
Walleye 5, Velva 3
Watford City found itself trailing Velva, 2-1, after two innings of play in the Walleye’s opening round action of the West Region Tournament. But a two-run rally by the Walleye in the bottom of the third inning would deadlock the game at 3-3.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Watford City would take a 4-3 lead and score an insurance run in the sixth inning to cap off the win.
Andrew Sampsel picked up the win on the mound for Watford City as he gave up three runs, while striking out six batters in six innings of work.
At the plate, Trent Grimes provided the muscle for the Walleye offense as he was three for four with two singles and one home run, while Brandon Allex was two for three with a pair of singles and one RBI.
                                                                          R    H    E
Velva                    2    0    1    0    0    0    0    3    3    1
Watford City       0    1    2    0    1    1    x    5    9    3


Walleye 6, Lewis & Clark 13
Watford City stranded nine base runners as the Walleye fell to Lewis & Clark, 13-6, in semifinal action of the West Region American Legion Baseball Tournament on Friday.
The Walleye got off to a fast start scoring five runs against Lewis & Clark in the first inning. But that was the only sustained offense Watford City was able to muster as Lewis & Clark would tie the game on a four-run rally in the top of the fourth inning.
Watford City would retake the lead, 6-5, in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the final three innings belonged to Lewis & Clark.
Dakota Neether took the loss on the mound for the Walleye as he gave up 11 runs, while striking out nine batters in six innings of work.
Trent Grimes led Watford City at the plate as he had two singles and one double, while Keegan Thompson had a single and two RBIs.
                                                                                 R    H    E
Lewis & Clark         0    0    0    1    4    3    5    13    12    1
Watford City            5    0    0    0    1    0    0      6    10    5

Walleye 3, Beulah 13

Watford City got behind Beulah early and was never able to recover as the Walleye suffered a 13-3 loss to end their play at the West Region Tournament on Saturday.
Beulah led Watford City, 5-0, after three innings, before the Walleye would score their first run in the top of the fourth inning. But Beulah would answer back with five runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to keep the momentum in their favor.
Watford City’s final two runs came in the top of the first inning, while Beulah would tack on three more runs in the final two innings to take the win.
At the plate, Brandon Allex was two for three with a pair of singles, while Dustin Kleppen, Mitchell Liebel and Bo Cook each had a single for the Walleye.
Brandon Allex took the loss on the mound for Watford City as he gave up five runs and struck out three batters in two and two-thirds innings.
                                                                    R    H    E
Watford City       0    0    0    1    2    0    3    5    2
Beulah                 0    1    4    5    1    2    13    12    0