Watford City upends 2nd-seeded Grafton
WAHPETON – Watford City outfielder Trent Grimes suffered a torn ACL injury two years ago and never opted to have surgery.
The decision hasn’t impacted the standout slugger on the baseball diamond. Wednesday, Grimes was 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs to help pace Watford City to a 10-6 win over Grafton at the Class A American Legion baseball state tournament at John Randall Field.
“It really hasn’t slowed me up or anything,” Grimes said. “It doesn’t hurt.”
Grimes opened the game with a two-run home run off Grafton starter Adam Mach with two outs. Grimes, a left-handed hitter, drove the pitch to the opposite field.
“He had a good curveball going, and a lot of his pitches were tailing away, so I just went with the pitch,” Grimes said. “It was my first-ever opposite-field home run.”
Grafton answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Watford City tied the game in the third when starting pitcher Andrew Sampsel drove in Brandon Allex with a double.
Grimes connected for a two-out double in the fourth. Watford City plated three runs in the inning to regain the lead.
Watford City finished with 11 hits, but also committed six errors in the field.
“I thought we did a good job getting hits with two outs and getting hits with guys in scoring position,” Watford City coach Patrick Spacher said. “We made six errors in the field so we needed to hit the ball well.”
Watford City plays Valley City at 5 p.m. today in the winners’ bracket. Grafton plays Beulah at 11 a.m. in an elimination game.
Sampsel was 3-for-4 with a run scored and also tossed a complete game on the mound, striking out eight batters for the win.
“We had trouble controlling two guys in their lineup,” Grafton coach Chad Kliniske said. “We didn’t locate our pitches where we wanted to with two strikes and we could have gotten some other outs in certain parts of their lineup to help contain their big hitters.”