May 29, 2013

Season comes to end for Wolves baseball team

By Zach Stenberg
Farmer Intern

With the spring rains hitting Watford City, the Region 7 Baseball Tournament teams played their first games in Williston, at Williston State College’s field last Wednesday.
“Baseball is a funny game,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We were undefeated through the regular season against Region opponents, but our bats went cold in the tournament.”
The Wolves came home last Thursday, but could not get their bats going against Lewis & Clark in the loser-out game.
The Wolves finished the year 18-5 and their region record was 5-0.
Trenton/Trinity Christian beat Lewis & Clark in the championship game and will represent Region 7 in the State Class B Tournament.
Watford City’s Nate Egeberg was named Senior Athlete of the Year for Region 7 and Justin Johnsrud, of Watford City, was named Coach of the Year.
On the Region 7 All Region Team from Watford City was Andrew Sampsel, Brandon Allex, Quayde Shores, Dakota Neether, and Nate Egeberg.
Watford City had a strong regular season, finishing with an 18-5 regular season record.
“We had an excellent regular season, for as short as it was,” stated Johnsrud. “Practicing inside for six weeks and then playing 20 games in two-and-a-half weeks is a grind. It is difficult to go undefeated against Region opponents in a shortened season because you play so many games per week. That really says something about our team,” stated Johnsrud.
With baseball being a streaky game, Watford City’s bats went cold at the worst time of the year.
“Everyone has slumps at some point during the season. It was unfortunate for us that it happened during the Region Tournament,” stated Jouhnsrud.
Watford will be losing five seniors this year, though Johnsrud is encouraged by the kids coming back next year.
“Our seniors, Nate Egeberg, Brandon Taylor, Brice Brenno, Tyler Bates, and Josh Rockeman all played well and carried us at times,” stated Johnsrud. “They will be missed, but we do have a solid core coming back next year.”

Watford City 2, Lewis & Clark 3
The Wolves lost their first game of the Region 7 Tournament to Lewis & Clark 3-2.
“This game was a missed opportunity,” stated Johnsrud. “Andrew Sampsel pitched an excellent game.”
Sampsel fanned 14 Lewis & Clark batters, gave up no walks and zero earned runs. But in spite of great pitching, the Wolves couldn’t manage to win the game.
“We struggled at the plate and couldn’t produce enough offense to overcome a couple of errors and mental mistakes, which ended up costing us this game,” stated Johnsrud.
Austin Lee was the winning pitcher for Lewis & Clark.

                                                                                        R    H    E
Lewis & Clark        0    0    0     2     0    0     1            3    4    1
Watford City            0    0    0     2     0    0     0            2    5    4

Watford City 9, MLSG 0
The Wolves jumped on Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood and never looked back in their first game back in Watford City.
“We tallied nine runs on nine hits in our first elimination game and had another excellent pitching performance from Brandon Allex,” stated Johnsrud.
Allex recorded 10 strikeouts, one walk and gave up three hits.
“I was hoping that this game would help our bats get going for the duration of the tournament and we played well in the field,” stated Johnsrud.

                                                                                R    H    E
MLSG                 0    0    0    0    0    0    0            0    2    3
Watford City      3    0    1     0     3    2    X           9     9    2

Watford City 0, Lewis & Clark 3
After giving up three runs in the first inning, Dakota Neether, of Watford City was able to shut out Lewis & Clark for the remainder of the game.
“We had another good pitching performance by Dakota Neether,” stated Johnsrud. “After giving up three runs in the first inning we were unable to generate any offense.”
Neether struck out 11 of Lewis & Clark’s batters, walked four, and had zero earned runs.
“In a double elimination tournament, everyone is short on pitching and really has to depend on hitting the ball,” stated Johnsrud. “Our pitching stayed strong throughout the entire tournament, but our offense really struggled.”
                                                                                 R    H    E
Lewis & Clark     3    0    0    0    0    0    0            3    6    1
Watford City        0    0    0     0     0    0     0         0     3    1