West Fargo Patriots capture Fargo-Moorhead Invitational championship
West Fargo scored early and didn't look back, defeating Coon Rapids 9-2 in the title game of the Fargo-Moorhead Invitational tournament in American Legion baseball Sunday, July 1, at Jack Williams Stadium.
The Patriots scored four runs in the top of the first inning. After Jake Faircloth and Andrew Enno drew back-to-back walks, Drake Flesche brought Faircloth home with an RBI double to right-center field. Enno then scored from third on a wild pitch. Alex Urlaub drew a walk and Brady Beyl reached by getting hit by a pitch. Drew Clouse then hit a shallow blooper to left field, bringing home Flesche and Enno.
"We needed the bats to come and they really did, they came up and down the order," Faircloth said.
Between the championship game and the Patriots semifinal win earlier Sunday, Faircloth went 5-for-6 with two doubles and three RBIs. He went 9-for-13 overall at the Fargo-Moorhead Invitational and was named MVP of the tournament.
West Fargo was quiet over the next two innings, then added a run in the fourth when Tanner Zepeda brought Faircloth home with a two-out single.
The Patriots added two more in the fifth when Clouse scored on a balk and Brayden Jacobson came home on a wild pitch, pushing their lead to 7-0.
Morgan Kapaun brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Ryan Garlick hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth to give Post 334 its first hit of the game. Both the momentum and the weather momentarily changed after the no-hitter was broken up.
As the sunshine was replaced with rain, Brock Rohloff followed Garlick's double with a single, placing runners on the corners with no outs. Garlick then put Coon Rapids on the board, scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly.
Kapaun walked the next batter and then threw a wild pitch, allowing another run to come to the plate. He then walked the next two, the second of which was with the bases loaded, cutting the lead to 7-2.
This is where Kapaun's day ended. He gave up two runs with three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Faircloth stepped to the mound and got a strikeout to get the Patriots out of the bases-loaded jam, preserving their 7-2 lead.
West Fargo got a couple back in the top of the seventh. Faircloth singled to center and then stole second. The Patriots proceeded to load the bases via base on balls and Flesche drew another walk to bring home Jacobson. Zepeda then hit a blooper single to shallow right, pushing the lead to 9-2.
Patriots head coach Jordan Rheault was glad to see his team's success continue as they head into the holiday break.
"(The tournament) was a really good experience for the guys, especially going into the (Fourth of July)," Rheault said. "Kind of the quote for this week is to get as much momentum going into our break as possible and we certainly did that so that's a good feeling, good thing for us as a ball club."