PREP BASEBALL: Deacons' triumph over Red River 1-0
JAMESTOWN -- Gabe Sandy likely won't forget his first varsity home run anytime soon, and neither will his teammates. The Fargo Shanley junior crushed a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence in the third inning that stood as the only run in the Deac...
JAMESTOWN -- Gabe Sandy likely won't forget his first varsity home run anytime soon, and neither will his teammates.
The Fargo Shanley junior crushed a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence in the third inning that stood as the only run in the Deacons' 1-0 triumph over Grand Forks Red River on Friday at Jack Brown Stadium.
The North Dakota Class A state tournament semifinal victory has Shanley looking to avenge last year's championship-game loss to West Fargo at approximately 7 tonight. The Packers downed Dickinson 3-0 to earn their spot.
"We're hoping for a little revenge," Sandy said. "They got us last year. We're hoping to play the best game we can."
Sandy's home run off Red River starter Brady Regimbal gave the Deacons a sigh of relief. It was the first hit allowed by Regimbal in the game.
"My last home run was 13-year-old Babe Ruth," Sandy said with a smile. "It felt good off the bat. I wasn't sure if it was gone right away. Luckily, it cleared the fence."
Shanley starter Jake Salentine said he was plenty confident before the round-tripper. The junior ended up throwing a complete-game shutout, scattering three hits while walking three and striking out two.
"I'm not gonna say (the home run) was all I needed, but I felt like I was in the zone today," said Salentine, who threw 123 pitches.
Salentine said a chance to play West Fargo again for a state title is something he's been thinking about all season.
"You've got to have it in the back of your head; you just can't forget about it," he said. "That's not what good ball players do."
A steady rain started in the fourth inning, which coincidentally led to more base runners. Red River stranded eight runners in the game including bases loaded in the fifth.
"We didn't do a nice job of putting the ball in play," Red River coach Mark Varriano said. "We just didn't come through with the sticks."
The homer spoiled a strong start from Regimbal, who threw six innings of three-hit ball. He walked one batter and struck out five.
"They didn't swing the bats any better than we did," said Varriano, whose team plays Dickinson for third place at 4:30 p.m. "Brady kept the ball down. It was just one pitch, and the kid put a nice swing on the ball and hit it out, and that was the game."