LEGION BASEBALL: Thompson clinches 8-6 win against LaMoure
LANGDON, N.D. — Calen Schwabe had been charged with three errors on misplayed grounders. With the game on the line, however, the Thompson 15-year-old was hoping for a shot at redemption.
“I wanted it (hit my way), right away,” the Thompson shortstop said. “I’d let the team down. I wanted to win it for my teammates. I wasn’t nervous about getting the ball.”
Schwabe sealed the deal, initiating a game-ending double play with the winning run on base. That clinched an 8-6 win against LaMoure here Thursday in the winners’ bracket second round of the North Dakota Class B American Legion baseball tournament.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Schwabe scooped up a grounder near second base, stepped on the bag and threw out batter Drew Thielges at first to end the game. It was the second straight inning Schwabe started an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
“Calen’s a very good shortstop,” Thompson coach Brady Schwab said. “And he’s a competitor. He had some errors, but they weren’t necessarily routine plays.”
Stockpiling the runs
There was nothing routine about the entire game.
Thompson jumped to an early lead, scoring twice in the second inning, four in the third and two more in the fourth inning. Thompson had its share of other scoring opportunities, but LaMoure turned four double plays, three of them inning-enders.
“Eight-0 surprised us,” Schwab said. “We were able to get some timely hits. I felt better after we got the early lead. But I wasn’t comfortable with it.”
That’s because LaMoure kept crowding the infield with baserunners. LaMoure left a total of 15 runners on base, 13 of those in scoring position.
“I was happy they left them out there,” said Brandon Walsh, who threw five innings to get the pitching win, with Ryne Dolleslager throwing the final two. “You have to see (all the baserunners) out there around you when you’re pitching. You just have to concentrate and make your pitches.
“It felt good when we went up eight. But it got real nerve-wracking when they kept coming back.”
LaMoure rallied with three runs in the fourth, two in the sixth and another in the seventh before Schwabe’s glovework came up big. “He’s been making plays out there for us all season,” Walsh said.
Stranding all the runners was atypical for LaMoure.
“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” LaMoure coach J.R. Thielges said. “We just couldn’t get timely hits. That’s not usually been a problem for us, especially late in the year.”