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Belbas grand slam the difference as EGF takes back-to-back games against Royals in Legion baseball

Carson Belbas finished the day with five RBI as Post 157 edged out Grand Forks 8-6.

071622 S GFH LEGIONBASE TannerNowch JadenRustad01.jpg
East Grand Forks Post 157 batter Tanner Nowch (6) connects with a Grand Forks pitch as Royals catcher Jaden Rustad (7) looks on in the second inning of a Legion baseball game at Kraft Field in Grand Forks on Friday, July 15, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — East Grand Forks had already taken a one-run lead in the fourth when Carson Belbas came up to the plate with the bases loaded.

With a 2-0 count, Belbas knew he was swinging for the fences on the next pitch, and made good contact.

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The Kindred star finished with 20 points in the final game of his high school career while Enderlin's Joe Hurlburt and Beulah's Trey Brandt also finished in double digits.
Class B shot the lights out and pulled away for a 23-point victory in the final game of the 46th annual Lions All-Star Games series on Tuesday at Fargo Davies.

"I didn't know it was heading out right away," he said with a chuckle after the game. "I kind of thought it was a fly out, but I got just enough of it."

The loud ring that came from the ball hitting off a pole extended over the left field fence was the evidence Belbas and Post 157 needed. The shot put them ahead 7-2 and in the driver's seat for the second half of the game.

"I thought we played well enough to win. We just played solid baseball through nine, pitchers gave us a chance and then obviously Carson had a big swing there," East Grand Forks coach Neil Nagle said after the 8-6 victory.

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Had it not been for the Belbas bomb, there may have been quite a different outcome as the Royals came back with all their might in the next half inning.

Singles from Nick Holter and Aiden Lee set up RBI opportunities for Jack Jahnke, Chance Colgrove and Ryan Muizelaar and all three delivered. Jahnke grounded out but knocked in a run, Colgrove sent one back up the middle to score Lee and Muizelaar brought Grand Forks to within one after pulling a pitch into right field.

However, after entering in the later innings, Breck Bloom provided some calmness to the mound for Post 157.

"There were some plays we could have made with maybe a little more situational awareness, but Breck coming in gave us a lift on the mound we rode him," said Nagle.

Bloom allowed just one hit in his three innings of relief and was awarded the win.

Originally, it was Grand Forks that had control to start the game. Colgrove and Muizelaar again found a way to drive in runs early in the count. The former jumped on the first pitch he saw to make the game 1-0, then the latter roped a double into left field to extend the lead to 2-0.

The aforementioned Belbas grand slam brought new life into the game, and EGF tacked on an insurance run in sixth inning via Belbas' fifth RBI of the game to cement their victory.

"We're kind of right where we'd like to be for playoffs," Nagle said looking at what is next for the squad. "You always want to play your best baseball towards the end and give yourself a chance."

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East Grand Forks Post 157 8,

Grand Forks Royals 6

EGF — 011 501 000 872
GFR — 200 400 000 692

EGF — Carson Belbas 3-5 5 RBI, Logan Spencer 1-3 RBI, Noah Frize 1-4, Tanner Nowch 1-4, Evan Skari 1-1, Drew Carpenter 2 R; Breck Bloom (W) 3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K

GFR — Chance Colgrove 3-5 2 RBI, Ryan Muizelaar 2-4 2 RBI, Jack Jahnke 1-4 RBI, Logan Okstad 1-4, Nick Holter 1-4, Dylan Desmarais 1-2; Aiden Lee (L) 4 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 BB, 2 K

Related Topics: AMERICAN LEGIONBASEBALL
Digital Content Producer and Sports Reporter at the Grand Forks Herald since December of 2020. Maxwell can be contacted at mmarko@gfherald.com.
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