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Corbid, EGF win postseason opener

Ross Corbid has been accustomed to getting a lot of run support when he's pitching for an East Grand Forks American Legion baseball team that averages 10.3 runs per game.

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Ross Corbid has been accustomed to getting a lot of run support when he’s pitching for an East Grand Forks American Legion baseball team that averages 10.3 runs per game.

The scoring was harder to come by Wednesday. So Corbid was stingier than usual. The right-hander pitched a complete game four-hitter as East Grand Forks beat Thief River Falls 5-1 in the opening round of the Minnesota Sub-state 14 tournament at Stauss Park.

“They (hitters) usually have my back,’’ Corbid said. “We usually score a lot of runs. Today I had to have it going for them.

“My fastball was working. I was getting ahead in counts and pounding the strike zone.’’

Corbid struck out only four batters. In the fifth and sixth innings, with EGF clinging to a 2-1 lead,  Thief River Falls had a runner reach third base with two outs, but Corbid pitched out of the jams.

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“That’s how Ross has pitched all year,’’ EGF co-coach Garret Hjelle said. “He’s so consistent hitting the strike zone. He has decent velocity and a good curveball. And he’s a competitor out there.’’

East Grand Forks took a 1-0 lead two batters into the bottom of the first inning. Carter Beck led off with a single and scored on an Alex Mushitz double to deep center field.

Thief River Falls tied the score at 1-1 in the third when Brandon Bruggeman popped a double down the left-field line to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a Keaden Kempert sacrifice fly.

East Grand Forks broke the tie in the fourth when Cooper Holm singled -- the second of his three hits in the game -- and eventually scored on a Mushitz sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Mushitz had his second sacrifice fly and third RBI of the game as EGF broke the game open with three runs.

“That was nice,’’ Corbid said. “You could take a deep breathe after getting those runs.’’

East Grand Forks had opportunities early in the game, leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and stranding two runners on base in both the first and fourth innings.

“We’ve done a lot of that all year, not being able to get timely hits with guys on base,’’ Hjelle said.

Thief River Falls pitcher Kempert had something to do with that. The right-hander pitched out of jams while striking out six in 5.1 innings.

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“He did a great job,’’ TRF coach Dillon Lundin said. “He’s been one of our top pitchers all year. He throws hard, mixeds in good off-speed stuff and consistently throws strikes.’’

Thief River Falls, 7-13, plays Fergus Falls in a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m. today. East Grand Forks, 15-11, plays Alexandria at 6:30 p.m. in a winners’ bracket second-round game.

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