NORTH DAKOTA CLASS B BOYS BASEBALL: Watford City holds on for 9-4 victory
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Tied at 4-4, Hazen hoped to shut Watford City down the rest of the way with ace pitcher Kolby Metzger on the mound. It only fueled the Wolves' fire. With five runs in the fifth, top-seeded Watford City took a commanding lead Sa...
JAMESTOWN, N.D. - Tied at 4-4, Hazen hoped to shut Watford City down the rest of the way with ace pitcher Kolby Metzger on the mound.
It only fueled the Wolves’ fire.
With five runs in the fifth, top-seeded Watford City took a commanding lead Saturday, holding on for a 9-4 victory and its first title Class B state high school baseball title.
David Kline finished 3-for-3, belting a two-run double in the fifth to break the game open off Metzger, who surrendered all five runs after his team tied it in the fourth.
Dakota Neether earned the win on the hill, going five innings and allowing one earned run on three hits, though he did walk an astounding 10 batters.
Watford City won the tournament in only its sixth year of high school baseball.
Metzger took the loss for the unseeded Bison, who finished their fourth season of baseball.
Grafton 6, Velva-Drake-Anamoose 2: Grafton (24-6) exploded for five runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Zak Hernandez had a two-run double and Hunter Baldwin followed with a run-scoring double to highlight the big inning.
Jaron Lunday (4-0) went three innings for the win, allowing one earned run on five hits. Grafton coach Chad Kliniske said his kids played well, despite a disappointing semifinal loss earlier Saturday.
“It wasn’t the game the kids set out in March to win, so it’s bittersweet,” he said. “We didn’t hit the ball in the semis, but that happens. I’m glad we came out here and played a nice ball game.”
Hazen 5, Grafton 3: The Bison earned their first trip to the Class B state championship game thanks to a two-run double from UND football recruit Austin Cieslak in the fifth inning.
Cieslak, an all-state football and basketball player and Class B's shot put state champion in track, drove a ball to the left-center field gap, plating Kolby Metzger and Hunter Richter.
"That's the hardest ball he's hit all year," Hazen coach Brent Hysjulien said. "He picked a good time to do it. That was a huge hit."
The double ended up providing the winning runs, as Grafton responded with one run in the bottom half and was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Connor Doll went six innings for the win, allowing one earned run. Metzger, the team's ace, pitched a scoreless seventh for the save.
Grafton had a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Jess Suda drilled a triple and scored on an error.
Watford City 11, Velva-Drake-Anamoose 4: The Wolves' first appearance in the title game came after a dominating offensive semifinal performance against Velva-Drake-Anamoose.
Watford City pounded out 11 runs on 18 hits, paced by leadoff hitter Quayde Shores' 4-for-4 performance. By the time the third inning was done, the Wolves had a commanding 11-3 advantage.
Watford City starter Brandon Allex went five innings for the win.
Velva scored three runs in the top of the first for its only lead.
Harvey-Wells County 10, Thompson 2: The Hornets (16-4) claimed seventh place with the help of a seven-run fourth that sunk third-seeded Thompson.
Brady Bachmeier finished 3-for-3 with a double, and Shaun Kourajian went five innings for his third win.
Freshman Brett Sutter-Hegg homered for Thompson (15-5). Ryne Dolleslager took the loss.