Minot Aces bow out of 11YO Cal Ripken State Tournament
After finishing pool play with a 2-1 record, including a pair of close one-run wins over Grand Forks (9-8) and West Fargo Spikes (7-6), the Minot Aces earned the No. 2 seed out of Pool D and a spot in the eight-team championship bracket.
The 11-year-old North Dakota Cal Ripken State Tournament hosts faced pool play undefeated Devils Lake in the first round of knockout bracket at the Jack Hoeven Park in Minot.
In a battle to keep their seasons alive and advance to the state semifinals, Devils Lake prevailed behind a no-hitter thrown by pitcher Will Heilman. The Firebirds won 8-0 in six innings.
The Minot Aces only muster one base runner, Drew Jordan, who drew a full-count walk to start the game in the top of the first inning.
The Firebirds quickly turned a double play on a lineout shortly after to clear the bases. After allowing the leadoff walk, Heilman retired the remaining 17 Minot batters in order.
Devils Lake opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a walk to Ben Brodina. He stole second base and then carried on running all the way to home plate due to two Minot throwing errors.
The Aces finished with five errors in the contest. A few of those came in a six-run second inning for the Firebirds to break the game open.
Cayden McCarthy and Tavyn Wiberg picked up RBIs in the frame. Daringly, Brodina also stole home as Minot catcher Brock Thompson wasn’t able to maneuver around right-handed hitter Brody Rainsberry occupying the batter’s box.
Devils Lake No. 6 hitter Finley Wirth came through with his team-high third hit of the game in the fourth inning to push across the final run at 8-0. The Firebirds finished with nine hits, and Wirth was the only batter to end up with multiple base knocks.
Later in the evening, Devils Lake lost 4-0 to Fargo 61’s. The West Fargo Rattlers topped the Bismarck Americans 9-2 in the other semifinal.
The championship game between the Fargo 61’s and the West Fargo Rattlers will be held at 10 a.m. this morning at Jack Hoeven Park in Minot.
Follow the Minot Daily News on Twitter @MinotDailyNews.