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Walleye take 5th at State Legion Baseball Tourney

Posted 8/05/14 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City wrapped up its 2014 American Legion baseball season with a fifth place finish at the State Class A Tournament in Wahpeton this past week.
The Walleye, who ended the season with a 19-19 season record, opened the tournament with a 10-6 win over Grafton, and then fell to Valley City, 7-4. Watford City was then defeated by a score of 15-2 by Velva to be eliminated from the tournament with a fifth place.
“We played our worst defensive game in the first game against Grafton  and won against a very good team,” stated Pat Spacher, Walleye head coach. “Then in the next two games we got behind early and couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole.”
While Spacher was disappointed with the Walleye not advancing further in the tournament, he was nonetheless proud of the team’s play throughout the season.
“I am especially proud of the season our seniors had both in winning a State Championship in high school and winning our first round game at the State Legion Tournament, which is also something we hadn’t done before,” says Spacher.

Walleye 10, Grafton 6
Watford City had to battle back from a 3-2 deficit after the first inning to defeat Grafton, 10-6, in first round action of the State Class A American Legion Tournament.
After a scoreless second inning, the Walleye tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the third inning and then rolled on to the win.
Trent Grimes provided the muscle behind Watford City’s offense as he hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and ended the game going four of four at the plate. In addition to his home run, Grimes also had two doubles, a single and five RBIs.
Andrew Sampsel, who earned the win on the mound for the Walleye, also had a big day at the plate as he was three for four with two RBIs.
Watford City led Grafton, 6-4, after four innings of play and was never challenged again. The Walleye would add one run in the fifth inning, and then capped off their scoring with three runs in the sixth inning.
Sampsel pitched a complete game for the Walleye, striking out nine batters while giving up 10 hits.
                                                                               R    H    E
Watford City         2    0    1    3    1    3    0    10    11    4
Grafton                  3    0    0    1    0    1    1      6    10    4

Walleye 4, Valley City 7

Watford City found itself in a big hole early in second round action of the State Class A American Legion Baseball Tournament as the Walleye trailed Valley City, 5-0, at the end of the first inning.
With both teams scoring two runs in the fourth inning, the Walleye still trailed Valley City by five runs.
While Watford City would score two other runs late in the game, the Walleye couldn’t overcome their early deficit, and moved to the consolation bracket with the 7-4 loss.
At the plate, Andrew Sampsel was three for four with one RBI, while Dakota Neether and Dustin Kleppen were two for four.
Dakota Neether took the loss on the mound for the Walleye as he gave up seven runs, while striking out seven batters in  five innings of work. Preston Milstead pitched the final two innings for Watford City as he gave up one hit and struck out one batter.
                                                                           R    H    E
Valley City            5    0    0    2    0    0    0    7    8    0
Watford City        0    0    0    2    1    0    1    4    9    2


Walleye 2, Velva 15
Watford City’s bats went silent Thursday in loser-out action of the State Class A American Legion Baseball Tournament as the Walleye fell to Velva, 15-2.
While Watford City had been able to get the hits in their earlier State Tournament action, the Walleye could only muster two runs on six hits against Velva.
The Walleye trailed Velva, 4-1, at the end of the first inning, and were down 8-2, after three innings of play.
At the plate, David Kline was three for four with two RBIs, while Mitchell Liebel and Keegan Thompson were one for three.
Mitchell Liebel took the loss on the mound for the Walleye as he gave up nine runs in four innings of work. Andrew Sampsel and Brandon Allex came in for relief in the final three innings, with Sampsel giving up four runs in one and a third innings, while Allex gave up two runs in one and two-thirds innings.
                                                                             R    H    E
Velva                     4    0    4    1    2    4    0    15    16    3
Watford City        1    0    1    0    0    0    0     2    6    1