LIDGERWOOD, N.D. â€”As the lineups were announced in Thursday's American Legion Section 1 tournament game against Kindred, Valley City Post 60 pitcher Chase Carpenter knew he could get the win.
The last time he stared the 60-feet-6-inches towards home plate against Kindred, the first game of a July 9 double header, he allowed only four hits and three runs, one of which was earned.
"I figured I'd come in here, have some confidence, just throw strikes," Carpenter said.
He did just that, allowing only three hits and three walks in a 2-0 win over the No.2 seed in the tournament. It was Post 60's first win over Kindred in five games this season and clinched a top-three finish in the tournament.
Valley City plays Wahpeton today at 7:30 p.m. The winner advances to a title game Saturday, the loser will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday in an elimination game.
Post 60 coach Jason Beilke attributed part of the win to his team's defense, which went errorless.
"We made every play that we needed to," Beilke said. "That's the big difference."
The defense had multiple big plays and had two double-plays, neither of the traditional variety.
The first came in the bottom of the third.
Carpenter started the inning by walking Alex Shields. He then hit Daniel Julson with an errant pitch.
When Nick Milbrandt, the third batter up, hit a deep fly ball to right field, Carpenter admits he got a little nervous. Shields left second while the ball was in the air.
Andrew Glaser ended up making the catch, then doubling Shields up.
The game later ended on a double play when second baseman Brett Stearns grabbed a quick grounder, then tagged second himself before throwing the ball to Josh Magnuson at first.
Valley City's offense came in spurts. The team had six hits, only one for extra bases, and left nine runners on base throughout the game. Still, the team did what it needed to to squeeze two runs across.
Valley City scored the first in the third inning when Carpenter singled, stole second and advanced to third on a fielder's choice ground ball by Jaden Keys. Magnuson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Carpenter then scored when Anthony Olstad was also hit by a pitch.
The second run came in the top of the seventh inning. Glaser started the inning with a single. After a strikeout, Carpenter hit a ground ball to the shortshop, who threw the ball over second base in a double play attempt. The error allowed Glaser to take third and Carpenter second.
Keys then hit a single to shallow center to score the run.
"Those are the kinds of games we're going to have to win are the scrappy ones," Beilke said.
Carpenter led Valley City with two hits and one run scored. Josh Gilbertson finished the game 1-2 with a walk and the team's lone double.
Kindred's Jake Kvisler finished the game with six hits allowed and 10 strikeouts. Both he and Carpenter threw complete games.
Valley City will face a tough challenge in today's game with Wahpeton, which finished the regular season 35-2 and hasn't lost to a Section 1 opponent this season.
In a double header July 17, Valley City was beat 10-0 and 7-0. Beilke said his team will need to find its offense to compete.
He also said the defense and pitching will have to perform well.
"They're a very good team," Beilke said. "Everybody's just so disciplined up there (at the plate.) They don't chase many pitches, so we're going to have to hit our spots and play good defense behind our pitcher."
Carpenter said he was looking forward to the matchup.
"I'm not worried," he said. "We're going to go out there, have some confidence, hit the ball, and see what we can do."