Fosston tops Cass Lake-Bena for section baseball title, state berth
Last week Cass Lake-Bena captured the sub-section baseball title by stopping Fosston 5-1 but Thursday the Greyhounds collected revenge when it mattered as Fosston defeated the Panthers 4-2 in the Section 8A championship game at the Bemidji State University diamond.
Thursday's win vaulted Fosston into next week's state tournament while CL-B fell one game shy of a state experience for the second consecutive season.
Cass Lake-Bena ended a memorable campaign with a 25-1 record while Fosston will take a 19-5 mark into its state tournament opener.
Greyhound pitcher Gavin Ross confused the usually potent Panther attack as he continually kept the CL-B hitters off balance with a diet of slow curve balls.
Ross struck out 17 Panthers, 14 of them with junk. He allowed only one hit, Caleb Fisher's solid single to center which highlighted a 2-run CL-B first inning.
The Panthers used a walk to Chad Wittner, a third-strike passed ball, a pair of wild pitches and Fisher's single to score the two runs.
Ross stiffened after Fisher's single, however, as he retired 19 of the final 20 hitters. The lone Panther to reach was Mike Hanson who gained first when he whiffed on a curve ball that eluded catcher Garret Carlin in the sixth inning.
Fosston opened the scoring in the first inning when Steve Lyseng walked, stole second, gained third on Carlin's fly ball to right and scored courtesy of Cooper Wilson's sacrifice fly to the left-field screen.
CL-B countered with its two first-inning runs and held the tenuous lead until the fourth.
Hanson started on the Panther mound and he was uncharacteristically wild in the fourth. Walks to Jake Juve, Brady Arneson and Kyle Arneson began the inning and Juve tied the game when Lyseng's potential double-play grounder was booted. Ross followed with a single to center to give the Greyhounds a 3-2 lead.
Fosston added an insurance tally in the sixth when Ross ripped a double to the right-center gap and Carlin followed with a double off the glove of left fielder Brett Fredrickson.
With Ross dominating on the mound, the 4-2 cushion was more than enough to vault Fosston into the state tournament.
Ross also paced the Greyhounds offense as he collected a pair of singles, a double and an RBI. Carlin added a double and two RBI.
Section 8A Championship
Fosston 100 201 0 - 4 5 0
Cass Lake-Bena 200 000 0 - 1 1 3
Ross (W) and Carlin. K-17, BB-1
Hanson (L), Trosen (5) and Humphrey, Masten (5). K-10, BB-6