Patriots take Legion state title
After playing four games in five days at the Dave Ressler Field at Mandan Veteran's Memorial Ballpark, the West Fargo Patriots were to come home as state champions.
The title came after they beat Fargo Post 2 on Sunday afternoon by a score of 11-8.
The Patriots were led by shortstop Andy Young, who went 2-3 with a three-run home run, and catcher Tucker Bucholz, who went 2-4 with two doubles and five RBIs.
Starting pitcher Landon Uetz pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs, but it was enough to secure the win and the championship for the Patriots.
Zach Steckler pitched in relief of Uetz, throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings. Tanner Dahl pitched in the final three innings, striking out six in route to the championship.
In the games leading up to the championship game against Fargo Post 2, the Patriots beat Mandan, Grand Forks and Bismarck, all by at least three runs.
Head Coach Bill Ibach cites the team's earlier victories, especially those in the Battle of Omaha tournament, which features teams from across the nation, this past June.
"I think winning the Battle of Omaha really gave us the confidence that this was going to be a special season," Ibach said, "and certainly proves that North Dakota teams can compete with teams from all over the country."
The Patriots, who are currently 39-14 on the season, advance to the Central Plains Regional tournament in Dickinson which starts tomorrow. Ibach and his team are ready, but hut he hasn't forgotten to enjoy what the team has been able to accomplish."
"It's been a pretty memorable year," Ibach said.