Governors hold off Keybirds in loser-out game
WILLISTON -- A rain delay was a headache for most on Thursday, but it was welcomed for the Bismarck Governors. After Williston notched two runs in the first three innings, the Keybirds were held to just one hit from that point forward, opening th...
WILLISTON - A rain delay was a headache for most on Thursday, but it was welcomed for the Bismarck Governors.
After Williston notched two runs in the first three innings, the Keybirds were held to just one hit from that point forward, opening the door for the Governors to come back and claim a 4-3 win in a loser-out game in the North Dakota Class AA American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Ardean Aafedt Stadium. Logan Morse came through with the two-out knock that scored two runs to break a tie and give Bismarck the lead for good.
"That rain delay allowed us to loosen up a little bit and start over," Governors head coach Mike Skytland said. "You never know how those things are going to work out."
The game started several hours behind schedule due to persistent rainfall in the area. The Keybirds took a 2-0 lead on Bismarck in the opening frames before a rain and lightning delay of about a half hour halted action.
In the first inning, Williston's Tate Ferrell was the fourth Keybird to reach base, driving in Braeden Zaste with a single. Governors pitcher Jake Olson then got a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
In the third inning, Brady Aberle popped up a ball to left field that was misplayed by the outfielder and shortstop and fell to the ground, scoring George Callan.
On the other side of the delay, an error by Williston's Zach Carson in center field with two outs in the fifth inning allowed Bismarck's Dawson Weikum to reach second. Alex Jacob and Mason Thorenson followed with back-to-back singles to tie the game 2-2.
"You only get so many chances, and you have to take advantage," Skytland said. "That was a huge point in the game."
The Governors did their damage in the seventh with two outs again. Nick Lembke led off with a single and Jacob followed with a knock two batters later. Morse - who homered in Bismarck's loss to Grand Forks on Wednesday - then singled through the left side to score both runners for the lead.
"That was definitely a clutch hit," Skytland said. "We had made a couple mistakes before that, but he lifted everybody up with that."
Williston had four hits against Olson, who left after four innings and trailing 2-0. Ben Weaver took over and held the Keybirds without a hit until the ninth.
In that final frame, an infield error and a single put two runners on and a sacrifice bunt moved them over. Williston's Garret Hill supplied a sacrifice fly to score Carson, but that's all the Keybirds would get.
"That was a gutsy performance," Skytland said of Weaver. "It gave our team what we needed, a little bit of a confidence lift."
Weaver pitched the final five innings and struck out two for the win.
"I was just asked to throw strikes," Weaver said. "I felt like I was in a great groove. I just felt like I was throwing hard and having fun out there."
Jacob, Morse and Lembke all had three hits for the Governors.
Bethke pitched the whole way for the Keybirds, allowing 13 hits and one walk in eight innings. He struck out three, and two of his runs were unearned.
Bismarck 4, Williston 3
W 101 000 001 - 3 5 1
B 000 020 20X - 4 13 3
W: Baily Bethke (8.0) and Tate Ferrell. B: Jake Olson (4.0), Ben Weaver (5.0) and Logan Morse.
W-Weaver. L-Bethke. HR-None.
Highlights: W, Braeden Zaste 1-4, 1 R; Garret Hill 1-3, 1 RBI; George Callan 1 R; Chance Johnson 1-5; Tate Ferrell 1-4, 1 RBI; Brady Aberle 1-4, 1 RBI; Zach Carson 1 R; Baily Bethke 8 IP, 13 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K. B, Nick Lembke 3-4, 1 R; Alex Jacob 3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI; Dawson Weikum 1 R; Mason Thorenson 1-1, 1 RBI; Logan Morse 3-4, 2 RBI; Matt Guenther 1-4; Cole Parisien 1-4; Jalen Ziegler 1-4; Jake Olson 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 6 K; Ben Weaver 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K.