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Big bats help Minot down Roughriders in American Legion Class AA tournament

FARGO -- Dalton Cooper had a pretty good idea of what it would take to beat the Dickinson Roughriders for the second time this season after splitting the previous two meetings. A lot of runs. The Minot Vistas were able to do that and more, scorin...

FARGO - Dalton Cooper had a pretty good idea of what it would take to beat the Dickinson Roughriders for the second time this season after splitting the previous two meetings.
A lot of runs.
The Minot Vistas were able to do that and more, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning including a three-run home-run from Cooper, on their way to a 10-0 opening-round victory against Dickinson at the North Dakota Class AA American Legion state baseball tournament Wednesday at Jack Williams Stadium.
“It’s always important to win that first game and to 10-run a team like Dickinson who has been a good team of late. It feels great,” said Cooper, who tallied three hits and four RBI. “I was just trying to stay confident and focused. Not trying to do to much.”
The Vistas scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first to provide some cushion for starter Carson Tonini, who went all seven innings, fanning six Dickinson batters.
“Carson pitched great. He gave them what the team needed,” Roughriders head coach Stephen Greenwood said. “He made us earn it. I was expecting the boys to perform a little better given that it was the fourth or fifth time we’ve faced Carson, spring and Legion baseball combined, so we knew what he had and knew who he was. He was better than us today.”
With the win, Minot moves on to play the No. 1 seed from the west, Bismarck, at 3 p.m. today. The Governors took two out of three against the Vistas in the regular season, both wins coming by at least a margin of six runs.
“We just have to get out of the mindset that they are better than us. If we come out and compete with them we know we can beat them,” Tonini said. “It’s going to be a good game.”
Dickinson was led by Chase Ballard (3 for 3) and Lucas Jones (2 for 3). Michael McChesney and Cam Jorda each added single hits.
With the loss Dickinson moves into the loser’s bracket and will play Grand Forks at 9 a.m. Greenwood said Jones would be the starting pitcher in that game.
“We still have big dreams for this year. I don’t want this to end,” Greenwood said. “We couldn’t be more behind the 8-ball in this tournament. Have to win five games in a row to be a state champion, but we can’t think about five games. We have to think about the next game, the next pitch.”

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