PREP BASEBALL: Pitching trio has Red River confident entering state tournament

Grand Forks Red River senior left-handed pitcher Brady Regimbal can spot the difference between the Roughriders and a lot of other teams in the area.

Grand Forks Red River senior left-handed pitcher Brady Regimbal can spot the difference between the Roughriders and a lot of other teams in the area.

“When we show up and play some of these teams, we can see them trying to piece it together to see who can (pitch),” Regimbal said. “But we know we have three starters to go compete. We have lots of depth and guys with low ERAs.”

After last weekend’s East Region baseball tournament, Red River coach Mark Varriano said he thinks of his team as having three No. 1 pitchers with Regimbal, Colin Hennessy and Ryan Richardson.

That staff has helped Red River to a 21-game conference winning streak as it enters today’s North Dakota state Class A baseball tournament in Mandan. The Riders face Bismarck St. Mary’s in the quarterfinals.

“They’re all pretty even,” Varriano said of his three pitching standouts. “We preach to pound the zone. They don’t walk many people. They want to get after it and bulldog it.”


Red River outscored its three East Region tournament opponents 23-2 last weekend thanks to three straight complete games on the mound.

In the title game, Richardson worked into the eighth inning when the game against Fargo North went to extras. He scattered nine hits, which Varriano said didn’t sit well with his senior right-hander. Richardson entered the weekend with a region-best five wins and one of the best earned-run averages at 0.54.

“He was irritated and agitated,” Varriano said. “He’s that much of a competitor.”

Red River hopes to recreate the East Region success at state by sticking with the rotation of Regimbal, Hennessy and Richardson.

“I like to be able to have that first game from a leadership standpoint,” Regimbal said. “If I can get the win, it gets things rolling. I like to set the tone.”

Varriano knows the Riders have a unique amount of pitching depth.

“Pretty much everyone has a No. 1 and most teams have a No. 2,” he said. “If you’re lucky, you have a three or a four. We have three quality kids we love to have competing for us.”

Red River hasn’t lost a game since May 2 (East Grand Forks Senior High) and hasn’t dropped a league contest since April 21 (Fargo North).


St. Mary’s, meanwhile, is a surprise state tournament qualifier with an 8-25 record.

“The kids are focused,” said Varriano, whose program is looking for its first state title. “We had a great week of practice. The kids are ready to get down there and get to business. As I’ve said before, the tournament sets up well for us because we have three quality starters that should give us a good shot.”

Regimbal, who plans to walk on to the baseball team at North Dakota State next season, also likes his team’s mindset.

“We’re still going with the business trip mentality,” he said. “We started that before EDC. We’ll enjoy the wins after it’s all done. Once we’re at the ball field, it’s all business. It’s a good vibe from the whole team.”

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
What To Read Next
Get Local