Facing elimination, Devils Lake's four errors allowed West Fargo to score five runs in the Firebirds 9-4 loss.
It was an uphill climb for Devils Lake, after a loss on Saturday put them in an elimination situation Sunday against West Fargo in the 12U Cal Ripken State Tournament from Ruger Park.
It didn’t help that the Firebirds had four errors.
“They scored five runs off four errors — that was the game,” said Dustin Brodina coach of Devils Lake. “If we don’t do that, and get some balls to bounce in our direction, we win this game.”
However, the errors did occur and the balls didn’t bounce the Firebirds way as West Fargo defeated Devils Lake 9-4, eliminating them from the tournament. The Firebirds season came to an end with a 33-9 record.
“Some times, it (the ball) just don’t bounce your way but at the end of the day, I’m really, really proud our kids. They battled, we had some adversity, and we had higher expectations being that we had beaten every single team in this tournament before this season already,” Brodina said. “We had that in our back pocket thinking we can do that.
“But when you have 10, 11, 12 year olds that when a have little adversity, you have to be able to overcome that I guess. Some times you do, some times you don’t.”
Devils Lake trailed for most of the contest, falling behind 3-0 after an error by right fielder Hunter Haglor allowed the third run to score. But as had been their modus operandi all tournament long, the Firebirds rallied in the bottom of third. With runners at the corners, Zach Boren’s two run single scored Drew Hofstad and Beau Brodina. That was followed by an RBI double by Parker Brodina that plated Boren tying the game.
Another Firebird error in the fourth helped West Fargo take a one run advantage, but West Fargo hit the Firebirds with four runs in the fifth that put the game out of reach.
Boren finished the game with three RBIs. Parker Brodina had a double and a RBI for Devils Lake. West Fargo was led by Jackson Gliente who had two hits, two RBIs and scored two runs.
“Overall we can be proud. We won two games, played really well but things didn’t bounce our way,” said Brodina.
Friday morning, Devils Lake opened the Cal Ripken State Tournament by defeating Bismarck Nationals 9-4 and then beating Mandan 12-9 Friday afternoon before losing to Dickinson 13-3 on Saturday which set up Sunday’s win or go home scenario.
Chris Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ