The Valley City Post 60 American Legion baseball team plays plenty of double headers throughout its season, but Thursday’s home games at Charlie Brown Memorial Field had a slight twist on the formula.
Rather than playing one opponent twice, Post 60 beat Great Bend 6-2, then immediately played Wahpeton in a 12-0 loss.
“It’s kind of like playing in a tournament,” said Valley City coach Jason Beilke. “It’s two games in a row with two different teams.”
The two games, both of which were rescheduled from earlier in the season, ended up being played differently.
Against Great Bend, Post 60 made the most of walks and errors to get a win despite limited hitting.
Post 60 finished the game with only four hits — one from pitcher Jaden Keys, one from shortstop Chase Carpenter, and two from centerfielder Spencer Meyer — but still scraped across six runs, including a five-run fifth inning.
Valley City took an early lead when Chase Carpenter reached on an error and later scored on a single by Meyer.
Great Bend had two runners score in the top of the fourth, though neither was credited as an earned run due to an error by Austen Meyer that allowed one runner to score and another to reach.
Valley City scored the final runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Austen Meyer led the inning off with a walk. Two batters later, he got to third when Keys reached on an error. A sacrifice by Josh Magnuson scored Meyer, which was followed by a walk to Chase Carpenter and an error that allowed Brett Stearns to reach base.
The two were driven in on a triple to left field by Spencer Meyer, who led the team with three runs batted in. Meyer later scored.
The teams finished the game with a combined 12 errors, but Valley City kept it from getting out of hand by making the plays it needed to.
“We’re good like that,” Keys said. “We make a few errors but once we come together as a team, we’re just fine.”
Though Valley City was able to fix the error issues against Wahpeton, the team’s bats were baffled by pitcher Tyler Gripentrog, who threw a no hitter in the five-inning game.
“The kid threw well and he hit spots,” Beilke said. “He worked in and out. He wasn’t just hitting one spot, so he really changed the batters’ thinking.”
Valley City kept it close and trailed only 3-1 after the first three innings.
It was the fourth inning, in which Wahepton scored 11 runs, that the game fell apart. Wahpeton went through 17 batters in the inning, including seven hits, all singles, in the first ten batters.
Post 60 continues its season today with a league double header against Galchutt at 5:30 p.m. at Charlie Brown field.