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Aces two-and-out at state

By Tyler Shoberg

For the second year in a row, West Fargo's under-17 American Legion baseball team came home from state a bit worse for the wear.

After two games, the Aces were bumped out of the North Dakota Junior Class A American Legion State Tournament in Mandan.

On Thursday, West Fargo was shut out, 10-0, by the eventual tournament champion Fargo Bombers. The following day, Grand Forks got the best of the Aces in a 10-3 showing that eliminated them from contention.

The Aces finished the year at 19-24.

With a rather young, inexperienced team, West Fargo had an uphill battle from the beginning of the year. First-year coach Dustin Gregory said back in June that the Aces' main weakness was in pitching, and that was apparent at state.

In Thursday's game, the Bombers jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. They hit in four more in the third and fourth. West Fargo never had the opportunity to respond.

The Aces were up 2-1 after the first inning against Grand Forks on Friday. But West Fargo couldn't answer after giving up three runs in the third. They drove in a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-3, but back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and sixth sealed the win for Grand Forks.

The Aces were led by Ben Huber, who went 1-for-3 at the plate with a double, a run and a run batted in. Luke Johnson was 2-for-3 and Ben Bruenjes went 3-for-3.