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Red River lands another upset to reach state baseball tournament

FARGO—Grand Forks Red River entered the East Region baseball tournament as the No. 7 seed among eight teams.

But it is one of four that's moving on to state.

Two days after upsetting No. 2 seed Fargo North, the Roughriders knocked off No. 4 seed Fargo Shanley on Saturday in a state-qualifying game in West Fargo.

Against the Deacons, Red River struck first, scoring three in the top of the second thanks to a Shanley throwing error and singles from Matt Clauson and Mason Salquist.

Shanley answered back with three runs in the bottom of the second on three, two-out singles, including a two-run single from Jacob Fritz.

Red River had two-out work of its own in the top of third, getting three singles and a walk with two outs, scoring two more on singles from Will Raymond and Dane Montgomery for a 5-3 lead.

That's all Red River (11-14) would need to complete the upset, as Luke LaMoine gave up just three hits after the second inning and Simon Murphy pitched over an error in the seventh to get the save.

"We had to scratch and claw just to get to the EDC tournament," Red River coach Mark Varriano said. "I kept on telling the kids to not give up on each other. They've done everything we've asked. We hurt ourselves a couple times along the way, but they never quit."

Sheyenne knocks out Central

Sheyenne senior pitcher Matt Peterson sat for a couple hours before Saturday's elimination game and thought about what he needed to do with each batter to get the No. 6 seed Mustangs a win and a trip to the state tournament.

He's going to study finance in college, so he thinks mathematically.

The math is the absolute fastest he throws is 74 mph. Location is key.

"It's extremely important because I'm not a hard thrower," Peterson said. "Location is everything because I can't blow it past them."

He was nearly perfect Saturday, retiring the first 14 batters No. 5 seed Central put against him in a 10-0 Sheyenne win in a state-qualifying game.

He ended up retiring 15 of the 16 batters he saw on 44 pitches, giving up a single one out away from a perfect game. The one hit didn't stop Peterson from getting the cooler dumped on him after the game.

"It was a little disappointing, but, to me, what mattered the most is we won the game," Peterson said. "Winning is the most important part for our team."