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N.D. East Region baseball tournament: Firebirds make title game

WEST FARGO -- Devils Lake picked a good time to start playing the best baseball of its season. The seventh-seeded Firebirds picked up its second consecutive upset with a 10-2 win over Grand Forks Red River on Friday in the semifinals of the East ...

WEST FARGO -- Devils Lake picked a good time to start playing the best baseball of its season.

The seventh-seeded Firebirds picked up its second consecutive upset with a 10-2 win over Grand Forks Red River on Friday in the semifinals of the East Region baseball tournament.

With the win, Devils Lake played its way into today's championship game against top-seeded Fargo South, while earning an improbable trip to the Class A state baseball tournament in the process.

Devils Lake looked nothing like the team that finished its regular season with five wins as it jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first three innings.

"I wanted to get us a couple three, four runs in the first couple of innings and they put five up," said Devils Lake coach Joe Kalash. "It's just so much easier to play with that cushion."

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After scoring a pair of runs in the first inning, Cole Boehmer sliced a triple into the gap in right-center field to drive in two more runs for the Firebirds in the second.

The Firebirds also got a lift from starter Josh Janzen, who turned out the team's second consecutive solid pitching outing.

Kalash attributes his team's surprising postseason play to an improved defense and increased focus.

"I always knew we could do it," Kalash said. "We had a really good week of practice, we were really focused defensively."

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