JAMESTOWN - Karson Hintz had a chance at redemption, and he made sure there was contact.
The junior leadoff hitter from Beulah High School followed a pair of strikeouts with a run-scoring triple in the fifth inning. It proved to be the winning run in a 6-1 victory over Lewis & Clark in a Class B state tournament semifinal Friday at Jack Brown Stadium.
"I knew I was getting my pitch to hit; I just missed it," Hintz said. "I had to come back and keep swinging and get my team a big run."
Beulah High School senior Cam Sadowsky slides into second base ahead of the tag from Lewis & Clark senior Chandler Karna in a Class B state semifinal Friday in Jamestown. Photo courtesy of the Jamestown Sun.
In its first-ever trip to state, Beulah (26-5) punched its ticket to the championship game, where it meets Grafton at about 7 tonight.
"We have a ton of team chemistry," said Hintz, who played on the school's championship basketball team in March. "The coaches push us and keep us going. Here we are, hoping to get it done."
Lewis & Clark, a team made up of players from Berthold and North Shore High Schools, had a hard time solving Beulah junior pitcher Patrick Becker (4-1), who gave up six hits in the complete-game victory. He didn't walk a batter and struck out five with a pitch count of 99.
"He's been really consistent all year," Hintz said.
Beulah senior Tanner Dolbec's single to left field scored junior Brett Koch in the third inning to give the Miners an early lead. Hintz's three-bagger extended the advantage, and senior Cam Sadowsky's RBI single to center field plated junior Cody Nelson in the sixth inning. Becker's RBI double highlighted a three-run seventh.
"We have a lot of power and a lot of speed," said Hintz, whose team stole seven bases. "Once we get on base, we make teams pay for it."
The Wildcats (14-5) were offensively challenged for the second straight night, though they played well enough to beat 2011 state champion Kindred-Richland 2-1 on Thursday. No. 8 hitter sophomore Aaron Schenfish had three hits to lead Lewis & Clark, which scored its only run in the seventh inning, when it stranded runners on second and third.
Freshman Austin Lee (4-2) was tagged for six runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"In the regional tournament, we scored a lot of runs, but this is state competition," said Lewis & Clark coach Brian Nelson, whose team meets Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton for third place at 4:30 p.m. "Everybody's got one or two No. 1 pitchers."