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Class A Legion Baseball Notebook: Valley City finally gets the best of Wahpeton, wins 7-3

Maybe the No. 7 is lucky after all.In six previous meetings this month, Valley City had lost each time to Wahpeton. That changed Friday as Valley City put together its highest-scoring output of the North Dakota Class A American Legion state baseb...

Maybe the No. 7 is lucky after all.
In six previous meetings this month, Valley City had lost each time to Wahpeton.
That changed Friday as Valley City put together its highest-scoring output of the North Dakota Class A American Legion state baseball tournament in a 7-3 victory against Wahpeton at Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field.
“We knew we could beat these guys coming in. We’d had really close games with them,” Valley City’s Nate Rodriguez said, “but they were just our kryptonite.”
Valley City was an unlikely No. 2 seed out of the East in this tournament after having to win a play-in game to even make it into the East Region qualifying tournament, but it now finds itself as the only undefeated team left standing, meaning that regardless of the team’s outcome in its 3:30 p.m. meeting with Beulah on Saturday, Valley City will have a spot in Sunday’s championship game.
“It shows what these guys have been through,” Valley City head coach Lance Lukes said. “They’ve been in spots to win before previous years, and it’s nice to see them achieve what they’ve been doing this year.”
Wahpeton, the two-time defending champion of this tournament, will face Bismarck at 1 p.m. Saturday with hopes of also reaching the title game.
Rodriguez’s two-run home run to left field highlighted his team’s first inning, in which Jesse Johnson also had an RBI double for a 3-0 lead.
“(The homer) gave our team a little jolt of energy to get going,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody just gets energized. Everybody can hit, and the more people we get up to bat, the better we’re doing. Everybody just kind of feeds off of it.”
Valley City tacked on four more runs in the third inning thanks to an RBI double from Drew Oberlander and a bases-loaded triple to right field from Justin Manson.
Wahpeton, the East Region’s top seed, scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning on a passed ball and a run-scoring double from Reed Albrecht.
An RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh from Kyle Bjugstad gave Wahpeton its third run, but that was the last of it.

Rylee Bjork picked up the win for Valley City after throwing four innings of relief, allowing three hits, the one run, three walks with five strikeouts. Stephen Brooks started the game and lasted three innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one strikeout and one walk.
“Rylee stepped up big,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a first-year Legion player. He had a shoulder problem in our region tournament, so we weren’t even sure he would be able to pitch. But he gutted it out and did awesome.”
Lukes added: “Rylee came in and was lights-out and kept going, and I couldn’t ask for anything better out of that kid. He came through in the clutch.”
Albrecht finished 2 for 2 for Wahpeton, and Bjugstad was 1 for 4. Beau Gilles, Pat Kussatz and Carl Bjugstad all scored runs for Wahpeton.
Nolan Wamre took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in 2 1/3 innings.

Valley City 7, Wahpeton 3
VC 304 000 0 - 7 7 0
W 002 000 1 - 3 5 0
Stephen Brooks, Rylee Bjork and Reese Huschka. Nolan Wamre, Christopher Thiel and Kyle Bjugstad.
W–Bjork. L–Wamre. HR–VC, Nate Rodriguez.
Highlights: VC, Nate Rodriguez 1 for 2, HR, 2 runs, 2 BB; Justin Manson 1 for 3, 3B, 3 RBI; Drew Oberlander 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, run; Jesse Johnson 1 for 2, 2B, RBI. W, Reed Albrecht 2 for 2, 2B, RBI; Kyle Bjugstad 1 for 4, RBI.

Beulah stays alive, tops West Fargo 1-0
Beulah pitcher Brayden Nelson allowed just four hits over seven complete innings to help the Cyclones to a 1-0 victory over West Fargo on the elimination side of the bracket.
Beulah broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Alec Battest was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and he was sacrificed to second by Derek Ferebee. Battest advanced to third on a groundout to the shortstop, and he came around to score on a passed ball.
West Fargo’s Tanner Zepeda led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and reached third after a sacrifice and a groundout, but pinch hitter Matt Peterson lined out to third to end the game.
Isaac Haessig, Ryan Bourassa and Tanner Peterson had the other three hits for the Aces. West Fargo’s Brady Beyl took the loss after allowing five hits with four strikeouts.
Devin Sardelli went 2 for 4 for Beulah, while Battest, Josh Remmick and Adam Becker also had hits.
West Fargo’s season ends, while Beulah advances to play Valley City at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Beulah 1, West Fargo 0
B 000 010 0 - 1 5 1
WF 000 000 0 - 0 4 3
Brayden Nelson and Alec Battest. Brady Beyl, Garrett Levin and Jake Johnson.
W–Nelson. L–Beyl. HR–None.
Highlights: B, Devin Sardelli 2 for 4; Alec Battest 1 for 3, run; Brayden Nelson 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 K. WF, Tanner Zepeda 1 for 3; Ryan Bourassa 1 for 3; Brady Beyl 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 K.

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Bismarck uses big 6th inning to eliminate Devils Lake
Bismarck’s Dawson Weikum reached base four times and scored three runs, sparking the Representatives to a 7-0 win over Devils Lake in a loser-out game.
Weikum doubled and scored in the first inning, singled and scored in the third inning and walked twice. He scored the second run in Bismarck’s five-run sixth inning, adding cushion to the Representatives’ 2-0 lead.
Jakob Olson earned the win for Bismarck, pitching seven innings and giving up just three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Jalen Ziegler went 3 for 3 with two singles, a triple and a run scored for the Representatives, and Ben Weaver went 2 for 4 with two singles.
Lance Anderson had a double for the Storm, and Noah Widmer and Jordan Swanson each had singles.
Bismarck advances to face Wahpeton at 1 p.m. Saturday

Bismarck 7, Devils Lake 0
B 101 005 0 - 7 9 0
DL 000 000 0 - 0 3 0
Jakob Olson and Ben Weaver. Ryan Haahr, Noah Widmer and Landen Hall.
W–Olson. L–Haahr. HR–None.
Highlights: B, Dawson Weikum 2 for 3, 2B, 2 BB, 3 runs; Jalen Ziegler 3 for 3, 3B, run; Ben Weaver 2 for 4, Jakob Olson 7 IP, 3 H, 6 K, 2 BB. DL, Lance Anderson 1 for 2, 2B; Noah Widmer 1 for 3; Jordan Swanson 1 for 3.

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