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Legion Baseball: Nothing but the Best

West Fargo head coach Mike Best assumes the role of third-base coach during last Thursday's game against D-G-F Legion. Chris Franz/The Forum

After two straight section championships, the West Fargo Aces slipped a bit last season and took third in Class B.

Third place out of all those conference teams certainly is not a feat to take lightly, but maybe not up to par with where they had been in years past.

If coach Mike Best has anything to say about it, that will change this year. Best admits there still are some "kinks" that need to be fixed, but overall he likes what he sees with his American Legion baseball team.

"We are where we want to be," he said. "It's a work in progress."

Before heading to South Dakota late last week for a five-game series in Sioux Falls, the Aces were 10-6 after dropping a game 15-5 to Minot on Monday, but winning 13-9 over D-G-F later that night.

That sort of inconsistency is something Best hopes will smooth out as the season continues.

Part of that will come from solid outings on the mound. Right now, "we're throwing everyone on our team to see what they've got," he said. Though true aces have yet to emerge, Best points to Jon Pistorius and Zach Steckler as two of the team's best so far.

Pistorius also is solid as a center fielder, Best said, which bodes well for another area of concern at defense.

As for offense, Austin Dillard is making it count at the plate. "He's hitting the ball really well," Best said.

The Aces also recently saw the return of a much-missed slugger in Landon Uetz. Fresh from vacation, the soon-to-be junior at West Fargo High School "hit two home runs right off the bat," Best said.

For now, the Aces will have to continue to work until all the pieces come together.

"We have to make sure we keep developing our pitching and play defense," Best said.

West Fargo's next contest is today, when the Fargo Bombers come to Legion Field for a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m. If they can pick up some wins and begin building momentum, who knows where that could lead, but Best has an inkling.

"Our ultimate goal is to get to state," he said.

Patriots on fire

The West Fargo Patriots Legion Baseball team had a banner week. After sweeping Moorhead 7-2, 6-0 on Thursday, the Patriots went 5-1 during a road trip to the Battle of Omaha (Neb.) Tournament.

Now sitting at 12-7, the Patriots were on a seven-game winning streak before falling 9-1 to Lake Charles (La.) on Sunday.

West Fargo was slated to face the Grand Forks Royals on Tuesday for a doubleheader, but results weren't in by press time. They are at Fargo Post 2 today for games at 5 and 7 p.m., and then host the Dickinson Roughriders on Thursday for a doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m.