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Moorhead rally trumps East Grand Forks rally in playoff legion baseball

When it came to late rallies, Moorhead one-upped East Grand Forks on Friday. East Grand Forks, down 5-1 entering the sixth inning, rallied to a 5-5 tie. But Caden Triggs doubled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Blues ha...

When it came to late rallies, Moorhead one-upped East Grand Forks on Friday.

East Grand Forks, down 5-1 entering the sixth inning, rallied to a 5-5 tie. But Caden Triggs doubled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Blues handed East Grand Forks a 6-5 loss in a matchup of the final two unbeatens in the Sub-state 14 American Legion baseball tournament at Stauss Park.

"We haven't had a ton of close games all year,'' Blues coach Bryant Bergerson said. "It seems like we've usually won big or gotten our butts kicked. Our kids persevered.

"Caden came up big. He's a gutty player. We're glad to see him in in a situation like that.''

Two singles and a fielder's choice put Moorhead runners on first and second base with one out in the seventh. The left-handed hitting Triggs then went the opposite way with a double down the left-field line off EGF pitcher Vic Saucedo to drive in Christanto D'Agostino.

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"It was a can't lose situation,'' Triggs said. "You trust your teammates. If you do something right, it's good. If not, the guy behind me will get it done.''

Said EGF co-coach Mike Lukkason: "Vic was working the outer half of the plate. He did his job and (Triggs) had a good at-bat. That's baseball.''

East Grand Forks had been held to one run and three hits through the first five innings. But in the sixth, a hit batter and a walk set up Jake Osowski's two-out, two-run single to left field to pull EGF within 5-3.

In the seventh, singles by Carter Beck, Alex Mushitz and Jake Hjelle loaded the bases with nobody out. Evan Estad singled home one run, then EGF pulled even at 5-5 on a Coby Stauss sacrifice fly.

Osowski's hit, Lukkason said, "was a key spot for us. That got everybody excited. We were putting good swings up the whole game. At the end, we found some holes and gained some momentum.

"Down four going into the sixth, our kids showed character. They competed.''

Moorhead built a 5-1 lead after two innings behind Carter Howell's bat. He lined a two-run home run over the left-field fence in the first inning, then hit a three-run home run in the second, a fly to center field just to the left of the 345-foot sign. That gave Howell home runs in four consecutive at-bats and 12 on the season.

"Four in a row, I've never seen anything like that,'' Bergerson said. "He's one of the best I've ever coached.''

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Moorhead (31-12) advances to today's 2:30 p.m. championship game. East Grand Forks (16-12) plays Alexandria in a loser-out game at noon, with the winner advancing to the title game.

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