Velva 39ers take two over Beulah
VELVA — Quintin Peterson heard his opportunity knocking. When the Velva 39ers needed him to produce in the clutch, Peterson answered.
His sixth-inning sacrifice fly helped Velva (2-0) earn a 3-2 victory over the Beulah Cyclones (0-2) in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday evening. Velva seized a 12-7 win in the second contest.
The two games marked meaningful moments for the 39ers. At long last, the team returned to Buen Field in beautiful baseball weather.
“That’s what it’s about,” Velva head coach Brent Engebretson said. “Everybody just wanted to come play, and we did. Win, lose, it didn’t really matter today. It’s a lot of fun. We had seven kids pitch. Everybody played, everybody batted. Everybody had fun.”
The 39ers didn’t wait long to score their first run. In the bottom of the first inning, Gunnar Mogen smacked a leadoff triple and came home on a Ricky Gonzales sacrifice fly.
The scoring reached a stalemate until the fourth inning. Beulah tacked on two runs after an RBI groundout and an errant pitch.
Pitchers from both sides wiggled out of jams throughout the contest. The Cyclones’ lead held until the sixth inning.
Velva threatened with runners on base, tied the game with solid contact hits and set up the go-ahead sacrifice fly.
“I didn’t start off too well, but I knew I was due to do something,” Peterson said. “We’ve got a good group of guys here that keep us lifted up through the hard times.”
In the seventh, Michael Thomas entered the game in relief and subsequently shut the door. Velva overcame three errors to capture the victory.
“It’s not the doubles and the triples that win games,” Engebretson said. “It’s the little things and the sacrifices by each guy that will do that.”
Beulah started out on top in the second game. Aaron Ripplinger’s RBI single brought home a run and provided an early 1-0 advantage.
The 39ers swiped some bags and struck back with two runs after a single and a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first.
“That’s what we want to do,” Engebretson said. “Make them make plays. Today, it worked out for us. We’re going to be aggressive.”
Jersey Selzler pulled a deep RBI double to left field in the second frame and came around to score after a solid display of heads-up baserunning. Beulah’s bats struck back with two runs in the top of the third, but Velva juiced the bases with no outs.
The impending flurry of insurance runs arrived in several fashions. Singles, walks, a hit batsman, a groundout and a stolen base pushed the tally to 12-3.
The lead proved insurmountable. Beulah put together a mini-rally and mustered four runs in the top of the fifth, but Velva waltzed into the weekend as winners.
“We’ve got some stuff to clean up in the field,” Peterson said. “The pitchers threw really well. The bats will come as the season goes on. We’re just happy to be out here playing and getting an opportunity to be out here with everything going on.”
Beulah head coach Dalton Oliger recognized his team’s proficient fielding abilities. He also spotted potential areas of improvement.
“We need to be a little more aggressive at the plate,” Oliger said. “It’s early in the season. I’d like to see the guys get a little more aggressive as the season goes on.”
Velva will play two counters at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 8 in Rolla. Beulah will face the Bismarck 15’s at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9.
Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.