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Six-run sixth inning helps Kidder County take dramatic 6-3 victory over Langdon

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Kidder County's Jacob Nolan lifts Simon Hager into the air after Hager scored a run in Saturday evening's Class B Independent State Tournament game against Langdon at Corbett Field. Kidder County claimed a 6-3 win and will face LaMoure at 8 p.m. in this evening's championship game

Trailing 3-0 against Langdon in the sixth inning, Kidder County head coach Tim Leer maintained his composure. Leer watched the squad make hard contact all night, so he was not particularly worried about manufacturing runs.

As Kidder County broke the Class B Independent State Tournament semifinal contest open, Leer cracked an ear-to-ear grin. Kidder County seized momentum in the six-run frame and earned a 6-3 win over the Red Sox at Corbett Field.

“It was an inning that was in the making in those first five,” Leer said. “Guys were in scoring position during all of those five innings. We were just that close to finally just taking it over that threshold. Once that happened, it was like it wasn’t ever going to stop.”

Langdon didn’t record a hit in the first three innings, but picked up a run in the fourth. After two more Red Sox runs crossed the plate, Kidder County’s Gage Pfaff ignited a string of sixth-inning hits with a sharp RBI double to right-center field.

Infielder Jacob Nolan ripped an RBI single and trimmed the deficit to 3-2. At that moment, the third-base dugout began to buzz with excitement.

“After seeing Gage Pfaff crack that double, I was just like, ‘Yeah, now it’s my turn,'” Nolan said. “The bottom of the order this year, we haven’t been like a typical bottom of the order. We haven’t been the easy outs at the bottom. I just knew it was my turn. I was due.”

Consecutive Langdon errors brought three more Kidder County runs home. After a catcher’s interference call provided an additional insurance run, Kidder County owned a 6-3 lead.

In the top of the seventh inning, southpaw Ty Biesterfeld continued his masterful gem. Langdon went down quietly, and Kidder County rushed to celebrate near home plate.

“I was just throwing strikes and letting our defense make plays for me,” Biesterfeld said. “It’s worked all year. With our defense, we have one of the best in the state. They always make plays for us whenever it matters.”

After the dust settled, Leer tipped his cap to Kidder County’s team chemistry.

“It’s a dream come true to watch these boys,” he said. “They’ve been playing together for a long time. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved over these past couple of years. It’s my job to keep them loose and keep them having fun. To have it pay off like this is just perfect.”

A boisterous Kidder County cheering section hustled down from the Corbett bleachers and rejoiced with the team after the game. Nolan recognized the fans for their involvement.

“They travel really well,” he said. “They come to a lot of our games. It means the world to have fans in the stands. We appreciate all they do for us, especially in these tournaments. The parents have been great. Housing, food, all that stuff. It’s just been great.”

Langdon committed five errors in the game, while Kidder County finished with just one. Kidder County also held a 7-3 advantage in the hits column.

After enduring a string of frustrating innings, the six-run sixth proved to be the difference in the game.

“I think a lot of people doubted us coming into the state tournament,” Biesterfeld said. “It just feels great to be in the state championship game.”

Kidder County will face LaMoure at 8 p.m. in this evening’s championship game.

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30

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