May 30, 2012

Wolves come up short at Regional

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City’s hopes of making it to the State Class B Baseball Tournament were dashed last Tuesday as the Wolves lost to Lewis & Clark, 12-4, in the Regional Tournament semifinal game, and then fell to Des Lacs-Burlington, 11-9, in loser-out action to get to the championship.
“It was a frustrating day for all of us,” stated Justin Johnsrud, Wolves’ head coach. “We hit the ball well but couldn’t get that key hit when we needed it. We had a couple of miscues in the field but we need to give credit to Lewis & Clark and Des Lacs-Burlington. In a region where the top four teams have all beaten each other throughout the regular season, we knew we would have to play well in the tournament. Lewis & Clark and Des Lacs-Burlington were better than we were today.”
Lewis & Clark 12, Watford 4
“It was not our day,” stated Johnsrud. “In the semifinal game against Lewis & Clark, we could not get a hit at the right time. We had chances with runners in scoring position, but Lewis & Clark did a good job of making plays at crucial times and their batters got key hits against us.”
The Wolves trailed the Wildcats, 3-0, after the first three innings of the game before getting on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. But Lewis & Clark would answer back with a pair of runs to take a 5-2 lead at the end of four innings of play.
Lewis & Clark would tack on four more runs in the fifth inning to go up 9-3 before the Wolves would add their final two runs  in the top of the sixth inning.
Andrew Sampsel took the loss on the mound for the Wolves as he struck out eight batters, while giving up four walks and seven hits in four and a third innings of pitching.
At the plate, Brandon Taylor was two for four with four RBIs, while Lucas Nicholson was two for four.
                                                                                             R    H    E
Watford City                       0    0    0    2    0    2    0      4      9    3
Lewis & Clark                    1    1    1    2    4    0    3    12    15    4

DLB 11, Watford 9
After controlling the first five innings of play against Des Lacs-Burlington in Tuesday’s loser-out action of the Regional Tournament, Watford City dropped an 11-9 heartbreaker to the Lakers.
“We started out well against DLB, building an 8-3 lead going into the sixth inning,” stated Johnsrud. “Then DLB’s bats came alive.”
Nate Egeberg had a solid game on the mound early for the Wolves before he was pulled after the fifth inning when his pitch count reached 100 pitches.
“Egeberg was solid for us in the first five innings and he got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth only giving up three runs on five hits,” stated Johnsrud. “When he reached 100 pitches in the fifth inning, we brought in Brice Brenno to finish the game.”
The Lakers’ bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning as they took advantage of a walk and a hit batter by Brenno to rattle off a flurry of hits culminating in an eight-run inning.
“Every ball they hit in the sixth inning found an open spot,” stated Johnsrud.
Johnsrud then called up Brandon Allex to pitch with the bases loaded and no one out in the sixth inning.
“We were ahead by two runs, but two errors allowed the tying run to score and a hit gave the Lakers a three-run lead,” stated Johnsrud. “We added one run in the bottom of the sixth. And in the bottom of the seventh, we had two on with one out and were unable to come up with a hit.”
                                                                                         R    H    E
Watford City                    2    3    0    1    2    1    0    9    16    4
DLB                                   1    1    0    0    1    8    0    11   11    2