North Star Bearcats continuing to learn, vie to play efficient game from start to finish

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

FARGO – No one said baseball would be easy, even at the state tournament level. 

The North Star Bearcats have understood this, even if they learned as such in a tougher way than they would have hoped. 

The North Star Bearcats were unable to capitalize on an early 4-0 lead against (#3) Central Cass on June 3 in the 2022 NDHSAA Class B Baseball State Tournament.

A 13-3 defeat against (#2) Thompson on June 2 certainly proved as much. From the team’s youth to the defensive miscues on the field, the Bearcats recognize that keeping the course – not to mention patience – would be critical as they continued to wade through the consolation bracket in the 2022 NDHSAA Class B Baseball State Tournament at Newman Outdoor Field on June 3. 

More importantly, the Bearcats learned first-hand that staying sharp and concise from the start of a game to its end made all the difference on the biggest high school baseball stage. 

A 9-5 defeat against (#3) Central Cass Friday afternoon emphasized this hard-learned lesson. 

“Our youth showed a little bit,” North Star head coach Jesse Vote said after the game. “I love the response from yesterday until today. We jumped on them right away. We got the emotions high, and it’s easy to play the game of baseball when things are going [well], and to kind of jump on that bandwagon and ‘oh, great, this is great. We are going to make all the plays,’ this and that. And then, how are we going to react when things start going south. Hopefully, we learned a little bit about who needs to work on that pressure down the stretch, who is going to make the plays…Unfortunately, they [Central Cass] applied more pressure back to us, and we didn’t deal with it very well.” 

While baseball can be a game of patience, it can also be a game of immediate action. It was the latter area where the Bearcats showed their potential as they swiftly tallied a four-spot in the top of the first inning against the Squirrels. 

It was this intensity that established the tone through the early portion of the game. From this intensity, the Bearcats imposed their will on the hitting and pitching side of the spectrum. 

To Vote, it was a tale of two different games when comparing North Star’s intensity between their Thursday and Friday games between (#2) Thompson and (#3) Central Cass, respectively. 

Although the North Star Bearcats remained aggressive on offense through the early portion of the game, the (#3) Central Cass Squirrels responded and capitalized on offense via a collection of North Star defensive miscues.

“We started off with a lot more emotion today than we did yesterday,” Vote said. “We played fairly hard for four-and-a-half innings, but we just got ourselves into that position where we needed to make plays. A little bit more communication, and maybe a ball didn’t go our way, but on the basepaths, we are always going to be aggressive. That’s where we are going to put the pressure on teams as much as we can.” 

Even still, no one said the other team would go quietly. After the Squirrels outscored the Bearcats, 9-1, over the final four+ innings of play, it was still apparent that the Bearcats were still young at the end of the day. 

A work in progress is a work in progress, and while they might have shown stretches of dominance, the Bearcats must still put together a sound game in all areas of the field. Anything less will only lead to more inconsistencies. 

“We get so riled,” Vote said. “We get so riled up, and we panic when things…one thing goes bad. That’s still something they have to learn to deal with, and we have been fairly well with it. We have found ways to just clear that out of our minds, and we have to move onto the next play.” 

No one said it would be easy.  

Game breakdown: 

NSB: 4 0 0 1 0 0 0: 5 11 3 

CCS: 0 0 2 1 3 3 x: 9 8 4 

Standout stats: 

- North Star: 

    Pitching: 

    - Zachary Jorde: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 4 K, 2 BB, 82 P 

    - Parker Simon: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 30 P 

    Hitting: 

    - Dane Hagler: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI 

    - Hunter Hagler: 2-4, 1 R 

    - Karsen Simon: 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI 

    - Chas Bisbee: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 K 

- Central Cass: 

    Pitching: 

    - Ethan Muchow: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 8 K, 1 BB, 96 P 

    - Carter Maasjo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 17 P 

    Hitting: 

    - Sam Kobbervig: 1-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K 

    - Alex Everson: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.