Posted 7/28/15 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
While Watford City didn’t have the regional tournament that they would have liked to have, the Walleye will be advancing to the State Class A Tournament in Beulah.
The Walleye punched their ticket to the state tournament with an opening round win over Washburn, before falling to Beulah and Velva to take fourth place.
“We played extremely well in the first game,” stated Pat Spacher, Walleye head coach. “We needed that win to ensure that we would make it to State, and the boys got the job done.”
While Spacher says that the Walleye pitching is getting the job done, the team’s offense is struggling.
“When we pitch and bat well, we can be a very competitive team,” stated Spacher. “But we’ve got to have both good pitching and batting if we’re going to contend at State.”
With the top four West Region teams advancing to the state tournament, the Walleye got the win that they needed.
Watford City’s first round action at the State Class A Tournament, which will be held July 29 through Aug. 2 in Beulah, will be against Grafton, the No. 1 team from the East Region, at 5 p.m. on July 29.
Walleye 13, Washburn 5
Watford City needed to win one game at the regional tournament last week in order to earn a berth at the North Dakota American Legion Baseball Tournament. And they got that win with a 13-5 victory over Washburn in the opening round action of the regional tournament.
The Walleye led Washburn, 1-0, after the first inning of play, and then exploded for six runs in the top of the third inning to set the stage for the win.
The Walleye opened the third inning with four back-to-back singles by Preston Milstead, Hunter Neether, Keegan Thompson, and Andrew Sampsel. Watford City continued to push runners across home plate when Brett Skarda got on base on an error with Heath Chaffin closing out the inning on a single.
Watford City would add two more runs in the top of the sixth inning as Devyn Marquardt and Preston Milstead crossed the plate to put the Walleye on top, 9-4.
The Walleye then slammed the door shut on Washburn as Watford City scored four more runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the 13-5 win.
Watford City out-hit Washburn, 11-9, with Preston Milstead going four of five at the plate with three singles, a double and two RBIs.
Keegan Thompson earned the win on the mound for the Walleye as he pitched 5-2/3 innings with Andrew Sampsel getting the save.
R H E
Watford City 1 0 6 0 0 2 4 13 11 0
Washburn 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 5 9 1
Beulah 13, Walleye 0
Watford City’s bats went silent in their second game of the regional tournament on July 22 as Beulah crushed the Walleye, 13-0, in five innings.
Preston Milstead had the lone hit for the Walleye, while Beulah did their scoring damage on 11 hits.
R H E
Watford City 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Beulah 1 7 3 2 x 13 11 1
Velva 3, Walleye 0
Watford City just couldn’t get their bats going in their final game of the regional tournament on July 23 as the Walleye dropped a 3-0 contest to Velva to take fourth place.
In spite of solid pitching by Andrew Sampsel, who gave up three runs on two hits to Velva, Watford City’s offense was only able to muster a single hit by Preston Milstead.
R H E
Watford City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
Velva 0 0 2 1 0 0 x 3 2 0