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Krusaders shine in opener

Teams from across the nation line the diamond for the opening ceremonies of the Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series on Saturday night at Diethrick Park in Jamestown. OBSERVER Photo by Scott Kindberg

Chase Haglund ripped a double down the left-field line to lead off the top of the first inning Saturday night in Game 4 of the Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series.

Jamestown was just getting started.

Behind strong pitching from starter Ashton Putney and timely hitting, including two singles and three RBIs from Blake Herman, the Krusaders downed West Fargo, North Dakota in convincing fashion, 8-2.

One of the least surprised people at Diethrick Park was Jamestown manager Shane Swan.

“I knew we could play with anyone that was here,” he said. “I expected to win.”

Jamestown Krusaders' starting pitcher Ashton Putney delivers to the plate. OBSERVER Photo by Scott Kindberg

Swan proved prophetic.

After jumping out to a 1-0 lead after a half inning — Haglund scored on Herman’s RBI groundout — West Fargo took advantage of two errors and an RBI single by Brady Medina to forge a 2-1 advantage off Putney.

But the right-hander, who would end up being the winning pitcher, was unfazed as he allowed just one hit over the next four shutout innings before giving way to Haglund, who pitched the final two frames without allowing a run.

“We are very deep pitching-wise,” Swan said. “We have a lot of guys who can throw and throw well.”

Jamestown broke the game open for Putney with a five-run third inning, aided by three West Fargo errors and a two-run single by Nash Luther and an RBI single by Judd Harris. Tack-on runs in the fifth inning, courtesy of Herman’s two-run single, pushed the Krusaders’ lead to 8-2 and gave them more than enough cushion to open their tournament with a victory.

Joining Herman with two hits was Haglund, who matched his first-inning double with a two-bagger in the seventh. Branston Lindquist and Brody Lawson joined Harris and Luther with a single apiece.

In addition to Medina’s single, Austin Ohleen, Cooper Fuchs and Ian Scari also singled for the Midwest Plains Regional champions.

Herman and Medina were the Ron Tellefsen Players of the Game.

GAME 1

NORWALK RALLIES FOR WIN

Norwalk, Connecticut scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to post a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Atlantic Shore in Game 1 of the Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series on Saturday at Diethrick Park.

Winning pitcher Freddy Melton, who gave up the only run in the third inning, scattered nine hits, struck out three and was the beneficiary of two double plays, including one that cut down a runner at the plate to end the sixth inning.

The New England Region champions were held scoreless until the top of the seventh against Atlantic Shore starter Aiden Ralph, who allowed just three hits and struck out 11. But when Norwalk’s Elvin Pascual led off the seventh with a single, Ralph was lifted in favor of reliever T.J. McBall, who gave up a double to left field that advanced Pascual to third. From there, Norwalk scored three runs on a squeeze bunt by Marcus Vallafane, a passed ball and a fielder’s choice by Matt Rinaldi.

Armed with a 3-1 lead, Melton, the Ron Tellefsen Player of the Game, held off Atlantic Shore in the bottom of the seventh, working around an error and a base hit by Colin Thompson to preserve the win.

Atlantic Shore tallied its lone run in the third when Jake Blum smacked a one-out double and scored on Thompson’s RBI single. Ralph was the recipient of the Tellefsen Player of the Game for the Mid-Atlantic Region champs.

GAME 2

THOMPSON SHOWS THE WAY

Gavin Thompson tossed a complete-game three-hitter and helped his own cause with a two-run single to propel Eau Claire, Wisconsin to a 5-1 victory over Tallassee, Alabama.

The right-hander, who was named the Ron Tellefsen Player of the Game, gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but breezed the rest of the way.

Leading the offensive attack for the winners was Austin McGraw, who collected a pair of hits, including a two-run single in the fourth inning that put the Ohio Valley Region champions in the lead for good.

Tallassee got on the scoreboard first, courtesy of an RBI single by Slade Carlton, but couldn’t push across another run. The Southwest Region champions were also hurt by fielding woes as they committed three errors in the two-run fourth inning. Baylor Clayton didn’t allow an earned run in his six innings of work, but suffered the tough-luck loss. Brody Wisener was the Tellfesen Player of the Game for Tallassee.

GAME 3

TALLAHASSEE OVERPOWERS

NORTH BUFFALO

Colby Tadder’s run-scoring double in the sixth inning — his third hit of the game — proved to be the game winner as Tallahassee, Florida knocked off North Buffalo, 10-0, via the 10-run rule.

Tadder finished with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in three runs to lead a 13-hit attack. Also contributing offensively for the Southeast Region champions were winning pitcher Nate Dietz (double), who added a pair of hits.

Tallahassee scored a run in the first inning, four in the second, three in the fourth, and one in each of the fifth and sixth.

Dietz allowed two hits and struck out six before giving way to Max Langer, who pitched a scoreless seventh.

Tadder was the Ron Tellefsen Player of the Game for the winners. Karsen Grover claimed that honor for North Buffalo.

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