Walleye take fourth at Williston Tournament
By Zach Stenberg
The Watford City American Legion baseball team traveled to Williston last Friday for the Williston Tournament. The Walleye won their first two games in the tournament, beating Williston 7-5 and Des Lacs/Burlington 20-3.
Playing to go to the championship, the Walleye’s bats went cold against Glasgow, losing 12-1.
In the third place game, Watford City was unable to get anything going as the Walleye fell to Sidney 7-4.
Earlier in the week, the Walleye split with Makoti. with Watford City edging Makoti 5-3 in the first game before falling in the second game 3-2.
Watford City 5, Makoti 3
Makoti scored a run in the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. The Walleye were able to get a rally going in the top of the fifth, and capitalize on Makoti’s mistakes.
“We played very well from the fifth inning on,” stated Pat Spacher, Walleye head coach. “And we were able to force Makoti into making some mistakes in the fifth inning.”
Andrew Sampsel was able to win the pitcher duel going six-and-a-third innings, while striking out eight and giving up three runs. Dakota Neether came in for relief and got the last two outs, to give Watford City the win, 5-3.
“Andrew Sampsel pitched very well and was able to get out of some tough spots in the fifth and sixth innings,” stated Spacher. “In the seventh inning, Makoti had runners on second and third with no one out, Sampsel was able to get a pop-up. And Dakota Neether came in to get the last two outs, allowing no one to score.”
With the win, the Walleye’s league record went to 8-0.
Watford City 2, Makoti 3
In this non-counter game, the Walleye’s bats stayed cold as they could not get anything going until the top of the fourth inning.
Mitchell Liebel had a solid pitching outing giving up just three runs. Liebel helped himself, with a run batted in during the fourth inning.
“While we lost the second game, I was pretty happy with how we played,” stated Spacher. “We now control our own destiny to secure the number one seed in the section tourney.”
Watford City 7, Williston 5
In the first game of the tournament, Watford City scored three runs in the first inning and was able to get their bats going with 16 hits for the game.
Williston scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game, 5-5.
Brandon Allex pitched the first five innings and Andrew Sampsel came in for the last two innings in relief and picked up the win.
Sampsel struck out five batters in his two innings of relief.
The Walleye scored two runs in the top of the seventh to go on and win the contest 7-5 over Williston.
Nate Egeberg had three hits and scored two runs, Dakota Neether had three hits while knocking in two runs, and Mitchell Liebel had two runs batted in on two hits.
Watford City 20, DLB 3
The Watford City Walleye steam-rolled Des Lacs/Burlington 20-3 in the second game of the Williston Tournament. The Walleye scored 10 runs in the top of the second inning and then scored five runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Brice Brenno led the Walleye with six runs batted in, Andrew Sampsel had four runs batted in with a home run, and Dakota Neether and Mitchell Liebel both had three runs batted in.
Dakota Neether picked up the win in only one inning of work. Dustin Kleppen pitched four innings of relief.
Watford City 1, Glasgow 12
The bats went cold for the Walleye in the third game of the tournament as they scored one run on three hits for the game.
Andrew Sampsel pitched five innings and picked up the loss while giving up six runs.
Glasgow beat the Walleye 12-1.
Watford City 4, Sidney 7
Playing for third place, the Walleye could not overcome a 6-2 deficit and lost to Sidney, 7-4.
With the score tied up at 2-2, Sidney scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-2 lead.
The Walleye answered back with two runs in the sixth inning, but came up short losing 7-4 to Sidney and taking fourth place in the Williston Tournament.
Dakota Neether picked up the loss, pitching five innings and giving up six runs. Andrew Sampsel had two doubles and two runs batted in.