Second time was the charm as Thief River Falls pulled out a come-from-behind eight-inning 5-4 Friday high school baseball win over visiting Fargo South.
After trailing 3-0 and 4-1, the Prowlers came up with a three-run sixth inning for a tie. And they had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh that started with a walk issued to Riley Bakken and a stolen base for courtesy runner Christian Larson. Kade Nelson then drove the ball to the outfield for a single that looked like a tie-breaker. However, a throw by left fielder Tanner Beaton and a diving tag by catcher David Youngs resulted in a game-extending out at the plate.
In the eighth, both teams opened with a walk. But a well-executed third-to-second-to-first double play by the Prowlers' Landon Kruckeberg, Benji Wilebski and Ethan Halvorson promptly erased the Bruins' threat. In the bottom of the inning, a Carsen Retka walk was followed by a hit-and-run single by Wilebski, who was batting ninth in the order. That would have put runners on the corners, but when the center fielder mishandled the ball, Thief River Falls head coach Mike Gullingsrud, handling the duties in the third base coaches box, waved Retka home. This time the throw to the plate arrived late and the Prowlers had a win and a 3-2 record.
A Fargo South team that made a rare appearance on the Thief River Falls schedule arrived at the Multi-Events Center on an even rarer weather-perfect day sporting a 4-5 record. The Bruins threatened to leave with a win despite picking up just two base hits – both third inning singles when the visitors did most of their scoreboard damage.
An inning-opening walk followed by back-to-back singles by Beaton and Ben Bryant netted the first run. Two throwing errors on the same play accounted for the second score, with a infield ground-out off the bat of Davis Lawley making it 3-0.
The Bruins' fourth run was a freebie in the sixth on error, wild pitch, ground-out and then another wild pitch for a 4-1 game.
Thief River Falls had scored in the fifth as Dylan Manderud bounced a lead-off ground ball single into right field, reached third when Wilebski dropped a single into short right and scored on an error.
The Prowlers pulled even in the bottom of the sixth. Three consecutive one-out walks started it. With two out, Wilebski picked up an RBI when he was hit by a pitch. On the very next delivery, Aaron Berzinski came through with a two-run single to straightaway center field.
r h e
Fargo South ….003 000 00 – 4 2 3
TRF……………..000 013 01 – 5 7 3 Pitching – (FS) Davis Lawley 3 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strike-out; Austin Warren 3 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 5 strike-outs, 1 hit-batsman; Noah Johnson-L, 1 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strike-out; (TRF) Brady Hoffard 5 IP, 2 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 6 strike-outs; Riley Bakken-W, 3 IP, 2 walks, 1 strike-out.
Offensive highlights – (FS) Ben Bryant 1/3, RBI; Tanner Beaton 1/3; (TRF) Benji Wilebski 2/2, RBI; Landon Kruckeberg 2/3; Dylan Manderud 1/2; Aaron Berzinski 1/4, 2 RBI; Kade Nelson 1/4.