Freeman shines for Carrington in shutout

LANGDON – After Carrington notched its first and only run of Wednesday’s Class B American Legion baseball state tournament tilt against Langdon, starting pitcher Patrick Freeman was skeptical that it would be enough to ensure victory.

But it was.

Freeman was nearly untouchable, tossing a complete-game, two-hit shutout to lead Post 25 to a 1-0 victory over host Langdon.

Carrington (22-11) battles Enderlin in today’s nightcap, beginning at 7 p.m. The Red Sox (15-9) face a loser-out contest against Burlington this afternoon at 1.

Freeman didn’t quite know how to sum up his winning performance. He simply “had it” on Wednesday.

“Sometimes the coach just says that you ‘have it,’ and that was the case for me tonight I guess,” Freeman said. “My catcher (Easton Paeper) does a great job in setting up my locations. He knows more than I do. I just throw where he sets up.”

Freeman tossed 96 pitches against the Red Sox. Of the 26 batters he faced, he delivered 17 first-pitch strikes.

He also had eight strikeouts, backed by 13 defensive putouts made behind him.

“I let teams hit the ball,” Freeman said. “I trust my defense will make the plays behind me. Anytime the other team puts it in play, I have confidence that we can make the play.”

Freeman’s career night overshadowed an impressive pitching display from Langdon starter Kalton Agnes, who allowed one run – unearned – over six innings on the hill. He struck out nine, including six straight over the second and third innings.

Such performances are often synonymous with victory, but not on Wednesday.

“They hit it where we weren’t, and we hit it where they were,” Langdon coach Dylan Crockett said. “We had two hits, but the balls that we did connect with went straight to someone. But both teams did great, and it was a great game.”

Carrington’s only run was the result of strategic baserunning.

Third baseman Braxton Hewitt reached on an outfield error with one out in the first. Two batters later, he reached third after a Freeman single.

With runners on the corners and Austin Hewitt facing an 0-2 count, Freeman took off to steal, eventually getting caught in a rundown between first and second.

But the momentary delay was all Braxton Hewitt needed to steal home. Freeman was eventually tagged out to end the inning, but not before the damage was done.

“I was hoping the run would inspire some confidence and that more runs would follow. I didn’t think the 1-0 would hold up,” Carrington coach Tim Ranum said. “Pat was pretty dominant against them all game. I thought we’d be able to get some more, but it is what it is. A win is a win.”

Joe Mellenbruch covers Legion baseball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.