It was a nail-biting game for the Williston Keybirds, but after giving up a run in the final inning the Keybirds fell to the Fargo 400 Stars in a consolation match Wednesday, Aug. 5 in the Senior Babe Ruth Tournament in Bismarck.
Fargo 400 took the lead after scoring a two-run home run in the fourth inning, but the game turned around in Williston’s favor when Dale Kjorstad singled on a line drive to center fielder Colton Alme in the bottom of the fifth.
“After giving up a two run home run it’s always tough,” said Keybirds’ coach Shawn Egge. “But for us to be able to come back and put some runs on the board and tie the game up that switched the momentum back in our seat. It was nice to be able to see kids battle and not give up at that point.”
Williston came back and tied the match in the bottom of the sixth inning when Sawyer Hanson singled on a 3-2 count, scoring one run.
But in the top of the seventh, Fargo 400s’ Jake Bryant scored one run with a sacrifice fly to centerfielder Chris Sathe.
“It kind of went downhill from there,” Egge said. “It was a tough situation.”
However, Egge said despite the Fargo 400 score, his team’s run management was phenomenal in that inning.
“We only allowed one run across the board, so we were putting some guys on intentionally just to get the force out... other than just pulling our whole infield in,” Egge said. “Other than that, they did really well in minimizing what the damage could have been, it’s just that the first runner on ended up getting to third base (and that) was really tough for us to get out of.”
The game marked the end of the season for the Keybirds, and Egge said the speech he has to give his team now is always the toughest, especially when he has to talk to the kids who put on the uniform for the last time.
“You just tell them that the season was good, you’re proud of the kids and everything worked out. It’s just one of those things, it’s the game of baseball, one bounce could mean the difference between a one-run game or a 10-run game. It’s always tough,” he said.
He said he also tells the kids who are returning what they need to focus on so they can improve for the next season.
Overall, Egge said the team improved from the Aug. 4 game to now. He said in this game they were able to capitalize on the other teams’ mistakes, they had more at-bats and they were able to put the ball in play more.
“We were able to put some pressure on the other team and capitalize on (Fargo 400 Stars) mistakes and I think that went really well,” Egge said.
Other things to note:
Williston pitcher Reed Hanson struck out seven in the game and Fargo Post 400 Stars' pitchers Jackson Skjerseth and Kobe Senn struck out nine combined.
Reed Hanson allowed eight hits and three runs over the course of the game.
Williston Keybirds had eight total hits with Garret Hill and Chris Sathe carrying multiple hits for the team. Sathe and Hill each collected two hits to lead Williston Keybirds.
The Keybirds didn’t have a single error in the field.