June 1, 2011

Wolves advance to State Class B Baseball tournament

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City High School’s baseball team will be advancing to the State Class B Baseball Tournament for the first time after the Wolves defeated Des Lacs-Burlington 10-0 in the title game.
Watford City’s first action at the State Tournament, which will be held June 2-4 at the Mandan Memorial Park, will be be at 11:30 a.m. when they take on Velva-Drake-Anamoose, the Region 6 champions.
Watford City advanced to the title game defeating North Shore-Plaza-Parshall-Berthold 2-0  and Des Lacs-Burlington 8-2.
During the post tournament awards, Trey Jacobson, Nick Liebel, Doug Rolfson and Karson Knudtson  were named to the All Region team, while Nate Egeberg was an Honorable Mention.
Jacobson was also named the Region 7 Senior Athlete of the Year, while Justin Johnsrud and Andy Lach of DLB were named the Region 7 Co-Coaches of the Year.
Watford City 2, NSPPB 0
“You could really tell we had not seen live pitching for almost two weeks as we did not do very well at the plate,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves head coach. “We chased pitches out of the zone and were trying to do too much.”
But in spite of not playing their best ball, the Wolves took advantage of their opportunities to earn the win as Watford City would out-hit the Wildcats 5-1.
“We talked about hustling and playing smart before the game, but it was anything but,” stated Johnsrud. “We hustled, but made some bad base running choices and other mental mistakes to leave runners on base.”
Watford City would get on the scoreboard in the second inning when Paul Martin got on base with a single with two outs. Shawn Fulwider then doubled to the gap scoring Martin.
The Wolves only other run came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Doug Rolfson led off with a single followed by a single by Nate Egeberg. Martin then delivered an RBI single to score Rolfson.
“Defensively, we played very well,” stated Johnsrud.
Offensively, Paul Martin went two for three for the Wolves scoring one run and having one RBI, while Doug Rolfson was one for one and Shawn Fulwider was one for two.
Trey Jacobson picked up the win on the mound for the Wolves giving up only one hit and two walks while striking out 12 batters.                                                R    H    E
NSPPB                                0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    1    0
Watford City                       0    1    0    0    1    0    0    2    5    0
Region 7 Semifinals
Watford City 8, Des Lacs-Burlington 2

Watford City scored three runs in the third inning and then pounded the Lakers for four more runs in the seventh inning to defeat them 8-2 to advance to the Region 7 title game.
“Our pitching and defense were again excellent,” stated Johnsrud.
While Douglas Rolfson’s pitching kept DLB’s batters from establishing any rhythm, Watford City’s hitters were finding their groove.
On the mound, Rolfson struck out nine batters, while giving up five hits and walked one batter in seven innings of work.
The Wolves scored three runs in the bottom of the third to open the scoring, and then added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to go up 4-0.
But DLB would make the game exciting in the sixth inning as they strung together several hits to score two runs. With the tying runs on second and third base, Rolfson struck out the final two batters of the inning to get out of the jam.
Watford City would seal the win scoring four insurance runs in the sixth inning.

                                                                                    R    H    E
DLB                                    0    0    0    0    0    2    0    2    5    1
Watford City                    0    0    3    0    1    4    x    8    11    0
Region 7 Championship
Watford City 10, Des Lacs-Burlington 0

Nick Liebel was nearly perfect on the mound for Watford City as the Wolves 10-runned Des Lacs-Burlington to win the Region 7 championship for the first time in the school’s history.
“Nick pitched excellent,” stated Johnsrud. “He kept the ball down and got ground balls and the defense made the plays. The two batters he walked were the only two to reach base. And with only one strikeout you know the defense did its job.”
Watford City jumped out to a decisive lead scoring eight runs in the first inning and then coasted to the easy win.
“Our bats finally came alive,” stated Johnsrud on the Wolves’ 10 runs on 12 hits. “Our batters had improved during the second game on Tuesday, but they were spot on in the first inning of the championship game.”
Offensively, Trey Jacobson was three for four with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored, while Liebel was three for four with a single, double and triple, driving in four runs, and Douglas Rolfson was three for four.
“It was a great way to end the tournament,” said Johnsrud. “Everything that needs to happen for you to be successful on the baseball diamond happened for us. We got on base and got key hits. Our base running was good and our defense and pitching were excellent.”
                                                                                     R    H    E
DLB                                      0    0    0    0    0    x    x    0    0    1
Watford City                    8    0    1    0    1    x    x    10    12    0