Quist lifts Vistas with walkoff homer

Marcus Quist said his last swing was the only one that felt good all game. And to a surprised Quist that swing felt really good even if he doesn’t remember the contact.

Minot’s second baseman hit his first home run of the season for a walkoff, two-run shot to break a tie and lift the Vistas to a 6-4 American Legion win over Beulah on Thursday at Corbett Field.

“I just saw my pitch down the middle and just turned on it and got my hips through and just felt good,” Quist said. “Didn’t even feel it off the bat. Felt great. Haven’t been hittin’ too well the last couple games and just cleared my mind and went up there and hit.”

After scoring four runs in the third inning, the Vistas (17-11) failed to get a hit through the following three innings and the first three at-bats of the seventh. Beulah (10-6) scored first with a run in the second and tied the game with three timely runs in the sixth.

Alex Mack reached on a walk between two outs and Quist, who throws right and bats left, crushed reliever Brett Koch’s pitch just inside the right foul pole.

“Big swing by Marcus,” Vistas coach Todd Larson said. “He got a good pitch, squared up on it nicely. It couldn’t happen to a better kid.”

Vistas pitcher Shawn Danielson gave up one run in relief of Demitry Zafra and earned his second win in less than 24 hours. Danielson improved to 4-0. The reliable reliever picked up his second win over Williston on Wednesday.

“(He’s) been pitching well for us as of late,” Larson said, “so a good way to finish the ballgame.”

Class B Beulah was ready for the Class A opponent and struck first when Evan Mellmer’s groundout scored Trevor Zacher in the second inning. Zafra pitched five innings and hit four Beulah batters, but showed better control than in his miserable start in a loss to Fargo on Monday.

Zafra pitched well through each inning, but gave up a walk and a double to open the sixth. Both runners scored when Logan Behm hit a double off Danielson. Beulah’s Mikey Morris tied the game on a single to score Mellmer.

Beulah coach Ryan Bodell, a Minot native and former Vista, was confident with Zacher on the mound despite the rough third inning. Zacher responded well and didn’t allow a runner in the fourth and fifth. Koch relieved Zacher to start the sixth and the Vistas made it easy for the Cyclones with three quick pop-ups.

“We battled, though,” Bodell said. “I was actually pretty proud of our guys. They came back and hit the ball and, you know, gave us a chance at least, so that’s all you can hope for. … It was nice coming back and coaching against my old team.”

Beulah had the game’s lone error, which didn’t result in a run. It was questionable baserunning that gave the Vistas a slight advantage. Behm would have likely scored on Mellmer’s single in the sixth inning, but jumped to early on a foul ball and was caught in a rundown.

Minot was error-free and began to shake off the inconsistency that led to a 2-2 run following a six-day layoff last week.

In the third inning, the four runs came off three consecutive doubles. Hunter Oothoudt drove in two and Brock Krueger and Grant Larson followed with an RBI each. In sequence, the trio hit to left field, center field and right field.

Game two of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled due to inclement weather.

“We just needed some repetition,” Todd Larson said. “We would’ve liked to gotten this (second) game in to get more swings, but we’ll practice tomorrow and on Sunday we start a long string of games and hopefully we’ll see a turnaround offensively.”

Quist finished 1 for 3 with a walk, Oothoudt also finished 1 for 3 and the pair shared a team-high two RBIs. Danielson gave up one run on three hits and retired the side in the seventh inning.

The Vistas host Forest Lake (Minn.) for a doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and the team is scheduled to play doubleheaders the following four days.