Sports Briefs

Williston ousted from Class A state tournament

WEST FARGO – The Williston Keybirds became the second team eliminated following a 9-8 loss to Wahpeton on Thursday at the American Legion Class A State Tournament.

Williston’s Jalen Braden hit a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to tie it at 8, but miscommunication cost the Keybirds (17-27) in the bottom of the frame.

Williston infielders thought they had been granted a timeout and let a Wahpeton runner advance to third. Seth Meide followed with a squeeze bunt to score Ethan Meide.

“We had about five guys ask for time and apparently the umpires didn’t hear any of it,” Williston coach Greg McNary said, “and that coupled with the strike zone that moved around the whole game was really frustrating. … The umpires didn’t lose us the game, it’s just frustrating when we fight so hard.”

Both teams committed four errors, but Williston played from behind most of the game. Wahpeton had a 7-1 lead through two innings. Braden’s home run was his first of the season.

“Jalen’s been struggling in a lot of areas of the game, so we didn’t start him,” McNary said, “but when I saw the style of pitcher they put in there, it’s right up his alley. He hits those offspeed kids really well, so we were hoping he’d put a good swing on one and I guess he did.”

Matt Kohler was the losing pitcher in relief. Nate Albrecht earned the win.

– Tim Chapman

Williston State baseball team adds utility player

Williston State College baseball coach Shawn Cote announced the signing of Syracuse, Utah, native Rieley Gibson on Thursday.

The 5-foot-9 utility player helped Syracuse High School to a fifth-place finish at the Utah state tournament for three consecutive seasons. He was named second-team all-region in 2012 and made the first team in 2013.

“We are very happy to sign a player of Rieley’s caliber this late in the summer,” Cote said in a press release. “Rieley is a very good athlete with tremendous versatility. He can play all over the field, which is very valuable to us.”

– Daily News Staff