Beulah walks off with 8-inning win
BEULAH – The home crowd at Goldmann Field waited patiently all day Wednesday to see its hometown team play in the first round of the Class B state tournament. But not until the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings – in the fourth game of the day – did the Beulah Cyclones give their fans what they wanted.
Beulah center fielder Brett Koch drilled a 1-2 fastball for a single to right field with two outs to score Mikey Morris from third for a 4-3, walk-off victory in eight innings against LaMoure.
Koch, who also singled and scored in the seventh inning, said he was more focused on not striking out than driving in the winning run.
“I had two strikes so I thought I’d swing at it and try to stay alive,” he said.
The Cyclones (18-9) will square off with Grafton at 7:30 p.m. today and LaMoure will meet Enderlin at noon in an elimination game.
Though it finished with an offensive flourish,
Beulah’s first-round win began as a pitchers’ duel. LaMoure starter Chris Heinrich tossed six innings and allowed one run on four hits and four walks to go with 11 strikeouts. He took a no-decision, but impressed Beulah coach Ryan Bodell.
“Their kid threw a heck of a game, holy cow,” Bodell said. “He was lights out. He kept us off balance. He had 11 or 12 strikeouts and that’s the most we’ve had all season for sure.”
Beulah’s Trevor Zacher was just a tad better. The right-hander recorded the complete-game win, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out 14.
“Zacher’s our ace,” Bodell said. “Whenever we need a win we go to him. He’s been doing it all year for us. We wanted to win this first game. It seems like the bigger the game, the bigger he is and the better he is.”
LaMoure jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1 through six innings on the back of their workhorse, Heinrich.
Then, Beulah put on a show for its home crowd in the bottom of the seventh.
Koch singled to lead off the frame and Pat Becker followed with an identical single to right. Zacher beamed a third straight single to right field to score Koch. Evan Mellmer grounded into a fielder’s choice that nearly turned into a 1-5-3 double play, but LaMoure third baseman Roddy Gentzkow Jr.’s errant throw ended up in right field and Zacher scored.
Meiklejohn escaped the inning with no more harm, but gave up a leadoff double to Alec Battest and a walk to Morris in the eighth. Then, Koch gave the Beulah crowd what it came for.
“It’s just good to get that one out of the way and now we have to prepare for Grafton tomorrow,” Koch said.
Ryan Holmgren covers Legion baseball and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgrenMDN.