Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Fargo, N.D., exploded for seven runs and eliminated one of Rapid City’s Little League All-Star teams.
Fargo ousted Timberline Little League with a 9-4 win in the North/South Dakota District All-Star Tournament at Collins Field.
The win kept Fargo’s (3-1) hopes alive for a championship as they’ll next face Canyon Lake (3-1) tonight in a 5:30 p.m. game, with the winner set to take on Harney Little League (4-0) at 8 p.m. to begin the championship round.
Fargo head coach Mike Swanson said facing Timberline pitcher Connor Burgess through the order twice was tough, but the third time around, his squad finally caught up to him.
“We started taking more pitches. We were trying to break the dam and we managed to do that. We got some baserunners on and put some hits together,” he said. “Tomorrow night (Thursday), we’ll pitch Johnny Wholestaff.”
With his top two pitchers unavailable tonight, it will be pitching by committee for Fargo, a second year Little League program which has just 70 players and five teams. It’s the only Little League program in North Dakota, which is why the squad has traveled to Rapid City the past two years for tournament play.
Fargo beat Brandon
Valley 4-3 earlier in the day to get the opportunity to play Timberline on Wednesday night, while Timberline advanced by beating Dell Rapids 9-7.
Timberline took a 1-0 lead in the second when Ruger Sartorius hit an RBI single to score Blaze Colombe. Fargo tied it in the home half of the inning when Nathan Henson hit an RBI triple that scored Luke Sandy. Timberline went up 3-1 in the fourth.
Fargo closed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, but a towering homer by Timberline’s Tanner Nelson in the top of the fifth gave the Rapid City squad a 4-2 lead. But in the bottom half of the inning, Fargo finally broke out, scoring seven runs on four hits.
Henson knocked in two with a single to tie it up, and Burgess was taken off the hill for Timberline. Sartorius took the mound, and he was greeted rudely by Fargo’s Austin Warren, who rapped a RBI single that scored Sandy to give Fargo a 5-4 lead.
A passed ball resulted in another run for Fargo, and shortly after, pinch hitter Taylor Parrett hit a single to score Jackie Ross for a 7-4 lead. Caleb Davis’ two run homer to center capped the scoring for Fargo.