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Legion: No. 7 Fergus Falls rallies to knock off No. 2 East Grand Forks

Fergus Falls players celebrate the second upset of the day at the American Legion tournament in Perham. Fergus defeated East Grand Forks, the No. 2 seed, by a score of 8-5. Robert Williams/FOCUS

PERHAM — No. 2 East Grand Forks needed three outs with a one-run lead but imploded defensively in the ninth inning to give up a 8-5 loss to No. 7 Fergus Falls in game three of the Minnesota Sub State 14 American Legion baseball tournament at Al Krueger Field Thursday afternoon.

Both the top seeds lost after No. 8 Detroit Lakes upset No. 1 Moorhead 2-1 in the 1 p.m game.

East Grand Forks relief pitcher Micah Friez was charged with a throwing error on two successive sacrifice bunt attempts that led to a five-run ninth to take Fergus Falls from the brink of a loss to an 8-4 lead.

Trevor Selk scored on an error at shortstop in the last at-bats for East Grand Forks to cut the lead to 8-5. Reed Hjelle came to the plate as the tying run with Taylor Brierley and Scott Mortenson on base but lined out to third base for the final out of the game.

The game was tied at three into the eighth inning. Hjelle doubled and scored on a RBI base hit by Clarke Peterson to give EGF a 4-3 advantage.

Peterson got the scoring started giving East Grand Forks an early one-run lead with a solo home run to left centerfield with one out in the second inning.

Fergus Falls tied the game in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Zach Thonselle scoring Drew Pearson.

East Grand answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth by Selk and Nate Phillips to go up 3-1.

Drew Pearson and Shane Neumann tied the score in the top of seven - Pearson on a passed ball, Neumann on a bloop single behind first base by Alex Hexum.

Fergus Falls starter Noah Strom pitched eight innings and recorded a no decision.

Thonselle got the victory pitching the ninth in relief.

Friez took the loss in one inning of work.

Fergus Falls advances to face the winner of the day one nightcap between No. 3 Perham and No. 6 Bemidji at 7 p.m. in Perham Friday.

East Grand Forks will face the loser of that game at 1 p.m.

FF    000 010 205 — 8 10 4

EGF 010 020 011 — 5   6 5

FF: Strom, Thonselle (WP) and Aarhus.

EGF: Phillips, Friez (LP), Kvidt and Peterson.

EGF: HR: Peterson

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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