Carrington Knocks Out Babe Ruth

District 6 champion Valley City Babe Ruth’s back-and-forth State Tournament concluded Sunday with a 12-6 loss to District 2 champion Carrington after Friday’s 7-5 marquee comeback win over host District 2’s Sheyenne-New Rockford and Saturday’s hitless five-inning 19-2 drubbing at the hands of District 3 kings Park River.

State wraps up with Monday’s 1 p.m. championship game or a 3:30 p.m. title match if necessary.

Garret Suhr scored in the top of the third on a Sheyenne-New Rockford balk, then Nate Rodriguez beat the throw to home on a wild pitch. Reese Huschka’s bunt with an out in the fourth loaded the bases, and Brandon Pritchett’s single to center brought Sam Jenson around. Suhr walked to load the bases again with two outs, but a groundout retired the side.

Cole Myhre walked to load the Sheyenne-New Rockford bases in the fourth, then Seth Soderholm came across on a wild pitch.

Drew Oberlander came in on a wild pitch in the fifth to put Valley City up 4-1. Sheyenne-New Rockford scored three in the fifth to lead 5-4, but Valley City put up three more in the sixth for the 7-5 win, from which Rodriguez emerged as the Player of the Game.

Valley City left 14 runners stranded against Park River despite eight walks and Oberlander and Dawson Dietrich’s second-inning runs. Park River left 29 men on base as they scored three in the first, six in the second, one in the third and nine in the fourth.

Adam Swanson batted 4-for-5 with two Park River scores and four RBIs.

Tom Magnusson threw three Park River innings on 66 pitches, one of two runs earned, four walks and seven strikeouts, Nick Thompson two innings on 43 pitches for four walks and four strikeouts.

Suhr worked 2 1/3 innings for 90 pitches, five hits, one of eight runs allowed, five walks and four strikeouts, Riley Miller 1 2/3 frames on 39 pitches, three hits, one of two earned, two walks and two strikeouts, Dietrich one complete on 48 pitches, five hits, nine earned runs and five walks.

Carrington jumped out 3-0 through an inning, but Oberlander came home in the second when Jenson’s pop-up fell fair just beyond first base down the right field line. Lucas Giezler came across for Carrington on a double to deep center in the home half.

Suhr’s third-inning single to left-center brought Pritchett in, then Rodriguez, known to Carrington spectators as ‘the 37-year-old,’ sent the first home run of the tournament over the left wall and brought Suhr around with him to tie it at 4-4. Jenson’s single to deep right scored Tanner Thomsen and Valley City found themselves back on top, 5-4.

Carrington’s double to deep left-center and single up the middle scored three in the home half of the third before two fourth-inning RBI doubles scored a run each for a 9-5 advantage. Rodriguez relieved Cole McGough on the hill with two outs, and Carrington put up another run on a single to right-center for good measure, a 10-5 margin and what became the 12-6 final.

Valley City put up a 17-1 District 6 record and a 28-6 overall mark, then blanked Lisbon, 10-0, in July 22’s District 6 championship game.

Babe Ruth finished second to Dakota Prairie, 4-3, in last year’s Carrington, N.D. State championship after falling 5-4 to Beulah in the opener and surging back with defeats of Carrington, 9-6, Thompson 5-1 and Rolette/Rolla, 5-4, in consolation.