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Patriots' season ends at regionals

Fargo's Jon Nygaard collides with West Fargo's Jordan Rheault at first base Sunday, August 4 during the North Dakota Class A American Legion state baseball tournament title game at West Fargo. David Samson / Forum News Service

The West Fargo Patriots legion baseball team saw its season come to an end on Friday after two tough losses to Nebraska teams in the regional tournament in Fargo.

The Pats started the tournament on Thursday against Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.), but struggled on defense, gave up 14 runs in the first two innings and lost 15-4 after seven innings.

Things crumbled for the Pats in the second inning. Down 3-0 at the start, pitcher Kory Wolden started off by walking the first batter. The team then followed with two consecutive errors to load the bases.

After another walk and a wild pitch, the Pats were in a 5-0 hole.

Creighton Prep followed up with a series of base hits, continually bringing home baserunners. When the second inning was over, the score was 14-0.

Right fielder Camran Bonnema hit a home run late in the game for the Patriots.

The team went on to face Omaha West on Friday, had difficulty at the plate -- managing only three hits -- and fell 12-1, effectively eliminating them from the tournament and ending their season.

Unlike Thursday's game, the Pats kept the game close in the early innings. Omaha led the Pats 3-0 through five innings, but continued to chip away at the Patriots defense, scoring nine runs in the final four innings -- partially thanks to two RBI triples in the eighth -- to earn a big win.

Bonnema had two of the team's three hits on Friday.

Despite a tough finish to the season, the Pats found a great deal of success throughout the summer. They ended with a 40-20 record, and were consistently strong at the plate, on the mound and in the field.

While major contributors like Wolden, third baseman Landon Uetz and shortstop Andy Young will not be able to return for next season, those who will be returning gained enough experience and showed enough promise to make for an interesting 2014 season.