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Baseball team takes fifth

The North Dakota Class A baseball state tournament did not start well for West Fargo, but by the end of it the Packers were driving home with a fifth-place consolation championship.

West Fargo (25-8) defeated Bismarck Century 3-1 on Saturday and finished the tournament 2-1.

“Noah Paper really stepped up for us in a big way Saturday,” West Fargo head coach Brett Peterson said. “He was throwing strikes on the mound and got a couple key hits for us as well.”

Paper struck out three Century batters and gave up four hits in a complete game effort. He also was 3-for-4 at the plate with a run and a double. Ben Strahm was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Paper was named to the all-tournament team.

The Packers opened the tournament with a 4-2 loss to Bismarck on Thursday. The Demons ended up winning the state championship with a 3-1 win against Grand Forks Central.

West Fargo stranded 12 runners in the loss to the Demons. The Packers also outhit Bismarck 8-4.

“We just couldn’t get that one key hit with runners in scoring position,” Peterson said of the loss to Bismarck. “We had plenty of opportunities, but we did bounce back in a big way the next two days of the tournament. I was happy with our effort and play the entire weekend.”

Senior Austen Gilbertson connected for a double and home run in Thursday’s loss.

West Fargo quickly recovered Friday morning, picking up a 4-3 win over Fargo North in the consolation semifinals.

Strahm tossed a complete game for the Packers and struck out 10 batters to earn the victory.

“Ben had pitched well against North during the regular season and has sort of had their number this year,” Peterson said. “We played really good defense behind him and he did a nice job of keeping their hitters off balance.”

Seniors Devin Wagenman and Aaron Fraase each collected RBI hits for the Packers. Sophomore Michael Glanville was also 2-for-3 at the plate.

Fifth-place game WF 010 011 0–3 8 1

BC 100 000 0–1 4 3

Paper and Gilbertson. Horner, Nagurski (4), Wolf (7) and unknown. W–Paper L–Horner.

Consolation semifinals WF 011 200 0–4 3 1

FN 000 001 2–3 6 2

Strahm and Gilbertson. Schultz and Rider. W–Strahm. L–Schultz. HR–FN, Thompson.

State quarterfinals WF 010 000 1–2 8 2

B 101 020 0–4 4 2

Gooding, Shepherd (5) and Gilbertson. Dinga, Bauer (6) and Irey. W–Dinga. L–Gooding. HR–WF, Gilbertson.

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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