Storm score three runs in their final at bat to win Game 1 of Legion baseball doubleheader over Wahpeton.
Devils Lake head coach Tanner Carpenter told his guys to score two runs which would have been enough to extend its game against Wahpeton Post 20.
The guys had other ideas.
Justin Blake sent a pitch into right centerfield that fell in the gap between both the center fielder and the right fielder that scored Aaron Johnson that completed a seventh inning comeback as the Storm beat Wahpeton 8-7 in the first game of a North Dakota Class A East Division baseball doubleheader Thursday from Legion Field. The Storm won the second game in five innings.
“You know, it’s one of those were the lead off guy gets on and then it was kind of contagious,” said Carpenter. “One guy starts hitting then everyone started hitting.”
Hunter Swanson led off the seventh with a single. With one out, Michael Widmer singled and the Aaron Johnson, who after connecting on a pitch that just landed foul beyond third base, singled to left field in nearly the identical spot that scored Swanson to pull the Storm to within one, 7-6.
With runners at first and second, Nate Grafsgaard’s RBI single drove in Widmer and advanced Johnson to third setting up Blake’s heroics. Batting left handed, Blake turned on Jonah Enochson’s pitch, sending it just out reach of both Trenton Dufner and Isaac Loosmore’s gloves and bringing Johnson home and starting a celebration.
“You just got to get it to the next guy,” Carpenter said.
Hunter Swanson finished with two hits and two runs scored, Parker Vilandre, who got the win after coming in for relief for starting pitcher Jacob Greene in the fourth inning, scored two runs and Widmer had two hits and scored three runs for the Storm.
The Storm opened the game scoring three first inning runs but Wahpeton responded in the second. With the bases loaded, Enochson’s single scored Zach Manock. Jake Uhlich’s RBI single scored Issac Getz and RBIs by Dufner and Nick Bronson gave Post 20 the 5-3 advantage. Wahpeton added runs in the third and fourth innings to build a 7-4 lead.
A four run third inning turned a one-run Storm Game 2 margin into a five run lead that they built on from there. With two outs, a RBI single by Johnson scored Hunter Swanson. Keaton Curtis drew a bases loaded walk that scored Widmer and a hit ball Hayden Hofstad that resulted in a throwing error causing Johnson and Grafsgaard to score.
The Storm (6-11) added five runs in the fourth after a single by Vilandre scored Greene and Widmer walked to load the bases, Johnson’s two run double scored both Hunter Swanson, who singled earlier in the inning, and Vilandre. Hofstad’s RBI single with two outs scored Widmer and Kaden Brandvold scored later in the inning.
“We had a good week,” said Carpenter. The Storm, despite dropping the first two games this past Tuesday to Fargo Post 400, won three of their final four games. “Good week to end, tough week to start.
“So to take one yesterday (a split with Thompson Post 181 on Wednesday) and get both of them today is huge not only for our standings but confidence wise.”
The Storm host Kindred Post 117 Tuesday, July 2 in a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Chris Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ