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Govs stroll past Royals

MINOT -- Every time the Grand Forks Royals made a misstep, the Bismarck Governors made them pay. More specifically, Govs catcher Taylor Isakson. Bismarck, led by Isakson's four RBIs, took advantage of 11 walks and four Royals errors for a 9-3 vic...

MINOT -- Every time the Grand Forks Royals made a misstep, the Bismarck Governors made them pay.

More specifically, Govs catcher Taylor Isakson.

Bismarck, led by Isakson's four RBIs, took advantage of 11 walks and four Royals errors for a 9-3 victory in the opening round of the state Class A American Legion baseball tournament at Corbett Field.

With Bismarck leading 2-0, Isakson went to work in third, smashing a two-run homer off Royals starter Keith Howe after Zach Wentz drew a walk to lead off the inning.

"I was feeling pretty comfortable at the plate," Isakson said. "I was just glad the team came through with a win."


An inning later, Bismarck loaded the bases with the help of a pair of walks and a Jon Hausauer single. Isakson brought home two more Govs with a single to left to make it 6-0.

"In a couple of big spots he came up with a couple of big hits," Govs coach Mike Skytland said. "He had a couple good at-bats there."

Grand Forks coach Gabe Dahl said his team's mistakes were too much to overcome.

"Bismarck's too good of a team to give 11 walks to," he said. "They made some big plays."

Dahl said his pitchers have recently run into control problems, allowing 20 free passes and hitting three batters in a doubleheader against Mandan late in the season.

"We picked a bad time to quit throwing strikes," Dahl said.

Govs starter Wentz cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit, but the Royals began to cut into the Bismarck advantage in the fifth.

Ryne Anderson produced an RBI single and added two more in the sixth on back-to-back run-scoring hits by Brett Thompson and Casey Purpur.


But just as they had earlier, the Govs built their lead back up by taking advantage of Grand Forks mistakes. A walk and a Royals error helped the Govs load the bases with no outs.

While the Royals defense struggled at times, Bismarck was sharp throughout.

Govs shortstop Alex Deyle made a pair of spectacular plays, ranging toward second base to gobble up grounders before throwing out Grand Forks batters.

"Alex Deyle came up with a couple magnificent plays," Skytland said. "It made it a lot easier on the pitchers."

Bismarck plays (winner of Minot/Williston) at 4:30 p.m. today in the winners' bracket. Grand Forks meets (loser of Minot/Williston) at 10 a.m.

Dickinson 12, Devils Lake 5: Dickinson third baseman Ben Herauf hit his 12th and 13th home runs of the season to propel the Roughriders to a win over Devils Lake in the first round.

Herauf hit a two-run shot in the first inning, a three-run shot in the fifth and added a two-run double in the third to finish 3-for-5 with seven runs batted in.

"I just got in advantage counts," Herauf said. "I was just looking for fastballs in those counts and was able to get on time with them.


"At state, nerves can get on you. But once we put up that three in the third, it was less tense in the dugout."

Roughriders starting pitcher Travis Tooley struck out eight and allowed seven hits and four earned runs in seven innings. Kyle Breen closed out the final two innings, allowing three hits and a run.

Dickinson, which plays Mandan in the second round today, had 12 hits -- three from Steven Laylock and two from Tyler Steffan.

Devils Lake starter Lance Johansen gave up seven hits and eight runs in five innings for the Storm, who play Fargo in a loser-out game today. Jason Burdick pitched the final three innings for the Storm.

"(Herauf) hit the ball hard every time he needed to. Only got him out twice -- not enough times," Devils Lake coach Tyler Knutson said. "(Johansen) never got comfortable out there. He couldn't get his release point and he was leaving pitches up and they weren't missing them. Every mistake he made, he paid for."

Devils Lake's Ethan Kleinknecht led off the game with a double and scored on a Josh Greene ground out to put the Storm up briefly at 1-0.

Kleinknecht, Chris Hoerth, James Olderbak and Dave Gutschmidt all had two hits for Devils Lake.

Mandan 15, Fargo 3: Mandan first baseman Brandon Leingang batted 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Mandan took advantage of eight Fargo errors for a first-round win.


Reid Jungling gave up five hits and struck out four in seven innings for Mandan, which earned the No. 6 seed by going 3-0 and outscoring its opponents 53-5 in the state-qualifying tournament last weekend.

Minot 6, Williston 5: Clay Kallias hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead Minot to a first-round win.

Kallias' homer broke a 5-all tie.

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