GRAND FORKS — Missed opportunities doomed West Fargo at the Class AA American Legion Baseball Tournament.
The defending state champion Patriots were dealt a quick exit from the 2019 tournament, falling 3-2 to Grand Forks in the opening round Friday then dropping a 6-5 final to Mandan in an elimination game Saturday.
Both teams managed just four hits Friday, but Grand Forks earned a tight win behind a three-run fourth inning.
The Patriots got one run back in the bottom of the fourth on a Ryan Reynolds sacrifice fly, but left the bases loaded. Post 308 would send more than three batters to the plate just once in its final three at bats.
In Saturday's elimination round, Mandan put the Patriots in an early hole with a three-run first inning, then extended its lead to 6-1 after scoring three more times in the fourth.
Post 308 came storming back in the bottom of the fourth, getting within 6-4 on an RBI single by Anthony Villanueva and a two-run single by Brayden Jacobson.
The Patriots looked in prime position to take their first lead in the fifth, loading the bases with nobody out. Instead, they came away empty, as the Chiefs recorded a strikeout and a full-count 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
West Fargo again loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, getting within a run on a Drew Clouse sacrifice fly. But the rally fell one run short, as a groundout proceeded to end the Patriots' season.
West Fargo finishes the season with a record of 24-18.