Comeback kids

Playing from behind hasn’t bothered the Minot Vistas American Legion baseball team much in the last two days.

Following a pair of comeback victories over Jamestown on Monday, the Vistas erased a couple of early deficits in each game of their non-league doubleheader sweep of Class A Beulah on Tuesday at Corbett Field.

Minot trailed by three runs after two innings in the opener before scoring eight unanswered in a 10-8 victory. The Vistas put up 14 unanswered in the nightcap after surrendering the first two runs in a 14-3 win in five innings.

Minot has won four straight to climb to .500 for the first time this season.

‘We seem to be getting behind, but the kids are starting to have more fun at the baseball game,” Minot coach Todd Larson said. “They’re confident right now. They’re going up and getting some pretty good swings on the baseball.”

The Vistas (5-5) have recorded 10 or more runs in three of their last four games. They have at least 10 hits in four straight contests.

The Cyclones (1-2) grabbed a 5-2 lead in the second inning of the opener after scoring five runs on four hits. Chase Oliger, Hunter Eslinger and Alec Battest recorded RBIs and Mikey Morris plated two with a single that hit off third base and landed in left field.

Unlike in Jamestown, the Vistas didn’t wait until the seventh inning to mount their comeback. They scored a run in the third when Austin Eggl singled home Brady Lampert to make it 5-3.

After a scoreless fourth, Minot took control of the game with a seven-run fifth inning. Twelve batters came to the plate in the inning and five recorded RBIs. The first six hitters reached base safely. An RBI double by Eggl and a throwing error by Beulah at home pulled the Vistas even at 5. Eggl’s second RBI of the contest chased Cyclones starting pitcher Pat Becker.

Minot was far from done as it banged up Beulah reliever Josh Remmick.

Trevor Ringoen and Dalton Cooper pushed across a run each with base hits through the left side. Lampert, who led off the inning with a double, singled in his second plate appearance of the inning, driving in Cooper. An RBI groundout to first brought in Chandler Jacob for Minot’s 10th run of the game.

“We like fighting,” Grant Larson said. “We like coming back. Obviously, that’s not what we want to do every game, but a win’s a win.”

After surrendering five runs in the second inning, Grant Larson – Minot’s starting pitcher – settled down over the next three frames. He allowed one hit and two baserunners during that stretch, not allowing a Cyclone past first base.

Grant Larson ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth as Beulah made a final push to get back in the game. He got Josh Remmick to fly out to Travis Walker in right before the next four Cyclones reached base – a single, two walks and an error. Beulah scored three runs, but Grant Larson induced back-to-back flyouts to minimize the damage.

Demitry Zafra pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out the final two batters to record the save.

After an 0-for-3 performance in the opener, Grant Larson went 2-for-2 in the nightcap, driving in four runs. He took Mikey Morris deep in the second inning, hitting a 2-0 offering over the right-field fence.

“It was a 2-0 pitch and I was just looking at one spot, one pitch and I got what I was looking for and got it elevated and it got out,” Grant Larson said.

Grant Larson’s third home run of the season capped off a 10-for-13 hitting display the last four games. He has four doubles and 14 RBIs during that stretch.

“His pitch selection has been the big thing,” Todd Larson said. “For him, if he is patient enough to get his pitch, you see good things. I knew after his first at-bat in Game 2 when he hit the ball to left-center, that usually tells us he’s locked in.”

The Cyclones took a 2-0 lead after a half-inning, recording five hits in the frame. The lead was short-lived as the Vistas came back with three in the bottom half. Minot scored at least a run in all four innings, putting up five in both the second and fourth.

“You look at the end and we had just about as many hits (as Minot),” Beulah coach Ryan Bodell said. “The difference was they were hitting doubles and triples and we were hitting singles. They hit the ball well in both games today.”

Lampert went the distance on the mound in the finale, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out four and walking one.

The Vistas travel to West Fargo today at 5:30 p.m.

Mike Kraft covers the Minot Vistas and racing during the summer. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.