On a great weekend for baseball in Hettinger, Kindred came from behind again to win their second straight State Class B Babe Ruth Tournament by downing Thompson 12-11.
By SHELDON CHRISTENSON | For The Record
On a great weekend for baseball in Hettinger, Kindred came from behind again to win their second straight State Class B Babe Ruth Tournament by downing Thompson 12-11. It was a double-elimination tourney with coaches having to juggle their pitching staffs, since a pitcher could pitch no more than seven innings in two consecutive games.
Kindred got to the championship game undefeated by beating Thompson (7-6), Velva (22-3) and Carrington (14-1).
In the their opening game against Thompson, Kindred’s Cody Frietag’s two-out single plated Nicholas Mathias with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
That put Thompson immediately in the loser’s bracket which is a tough row to hoe in trying to get to the championship, but they did it. They made it look easy as they went on to defeat Washburn (16-5), Grafton (14-3), Valley City (13-1) and Carrington (10-0). All the games did not go to the seventh inning as the 10-run rule after five innings went into effect. Their hitting and pitching all clicked during these games.
In the championship game, Thompson would have to beat Kindred to have a chance at winning it all in the ‘IF’ game—the ‘IF’ game would be if Thompson would have won, Kindred would have needed to beat Kindred twice in the double-elimination format. They almost accomplished it as they had an 11-9 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. But Kindred wasn’t done as their first hitter got on base on an error, and the next hitter singled. Thompson got the next two hitters out, but Kindred’s first runner scored on the second out. After Evan Waskom walked and stole second base they had runners and second and third base. But Matt Freier, who had been hitless in his previous four at-bats including two strike outs, wrapped a hard liner to right field and with the runners going on the hit, both scored easily to give Kindred the championship.
Cadyn Schwabe went the distance for Thompson to absorb the loss while Kindred used three pitchers with Nicholas Mathias picking up the pitching victory as he came in to relieve with one out in the sixth.
Carrington finished in third place and the Hettinger-Scranton Bears lost a tough 4-1 game to Grafton in the final game of the first day.
Grafton’s Matthew Suda picked up the pitching victory with a six-hitter while Jarad Mattis was the losing pitcher giving up only four hits and striking out nine. The Bears were eliminated in their second game the next day as Valley City won 12-0. District 5 champion Washburn was also out after two games as they lost to Velva (5-2) and Thompson (16-5).
Kindred also topped Thompson in last year’s championship game at New Rockford by a score of 6-0.