The Capitol City Crushers took 2nd place in North Dakota’s Missouri River Classic U11 baseball tournament in Bismarck over the weekend. The Crushers swept their pool play opponents on Friday to capture a top seed in the tournament placing rounds on Saturday.
The Crushers defeated Mandan 6-3 in their first game. George Stalley started the Crushers hitting in the first inning. Singles by JJ Bucholz and Colton Brady brought Stalley home for a 1-0 lead. Hits by Andrew Campea and Stalley put runners on base in the third inning, with a deep field double by Bucholz driving in one run and double by Brady bringing home two more. Trevor Rounds brought Charlie Simpsons across the plate with a squeeze play bunt to give the Crushers a 5-run inning to seal the win.
The Crushers faced the Bismarck Nationals in game two of pool play. Campea sat down five of the first seven National batters before being retired for the game on pitch count limits. Campea’s pitching prowess was bolstered by a 7-run inning for the Crushers. Hits by Jacob Leiferman, Weston Northrup, and Ridge Liembach who were driven in by a Campea single, a Stalley triple and a Buchholz double for a final score in favor of the Crushers of 12-3.
On Saturday, the Crushers drew the Williston Wildcats to begin their day. Brady started off the hitting with a stand up triple to center field. Stalley, Simpson, and Lincoln Houska followed with singles to give the Crushers a 4-1 lead after the first inning. Brady’s pitching held the Wildcats to just one more run in another four innings while the Crushers’ bats drove the up the run count. Campea cracked a stand up triple to center field in the 3rd inning. Houska, Rounds, Leimbach and Northrup scored on a 2 out rally in the inning to give the Crushers a 9-1 lead. In the final innings, singles by Leiferman, Stalley, and Houska drove in runs to make the final score 13-2.
The Crushers faced Dickenson Mustangs in the semi-finals. A five-run first inning put the Crushers ahead to stay. Campea started the hitting with a single, followed by a Brady double that set up RBI’s by Stalley and Bucholz. Simpson drilled an RBI double and Rounds and Leiferman singled to move Simpson across the plate for a five-run inning. Brady and Simpson added singles to Stalley’s single and double in the final innings to give the Crushers four more runs and the win 9-7. Campea was the winning pitcher for the game.
The Crushers moved on to the Championship game against the defending North Dakota state champions in the age division, the Bismarck Americans. The Americans took advantage of aggressive base stealing to jump to a 4-0 lead after the first inning. A three-run rally by the Crushers in the 3rd inning was led by Rounds, Leimbach, Bucholz, and Stalley at bats. The Crushers picked up another run in the 5th inning off a gap hit by Houska, followed by hits by Simpson and Leiferman to bring him home. Eleven hitters stranded on base throughout the game left the Crushers with a 4-11 loss.
The Crushers are 8-3 on the season and play next in the Cubby’s Invitational in Brookings, SD.