Roehrich wins pitching dual, Packers baseball stays undefeated in EDC
FARGO — Tristen Roehrich worried that a strong cross wind would affect his day from the mound. But nothing kept the West Fargo senior right-handed pitcher from finding his spots and making batters guess all day.
Roehrich was throwing with velocity as the Packers finally gave him runs in the sixth inning for a 4-0 Eastern Dakota Conference win on Friday, May 4, at Fargo Davies High School. The Eagles came back and beat the Packers 19-9 in five innings to split the doubleheader.
"I just came out here throwing strikes," Roehrich said. "I just knew eventually we would come through and get some runs, and it ended up happening. We kept going and didn't look back from there."
The game marked a matchup between the two teams at the top of the EDC standings. The defending North Dakota Class A state champion Packers (9-2, 6-0) stood at the top, while Davies (7-6, 4-2) had the second-most wins in the EDC. Since losing to Fargo North in a non-EDC counter game, the Packers had won eight straight games until the loss to Davies.
The first game of the doubleheader, which counted toward the EDC standings, started out in an evenly matched pitching dual. Roehrich and Matt Hagen of Davies kept the game scoreless until the sixth inning. At that point, Roehrich allowed three hits and Hagen allowed just two.
"Tristen was dominant from the mound," Packers head coach Brett Peterson said. "He had them off-balance the whole time. He just did a nice job of commanding the zone."
The Packers finally got Hagen to budge in the sixth. With two runners on base, Tanner Zepeda cranked the first pitch to right field with the wind to break the scoreless tie. The Packers added two runs in the seventh inning.
"That was finally the big hit we needed. We didn't really break it open, but it felt like it the way Tristen was throwing," Peterson said. "He was throwing hard, had good velocity and was hitting his spots. He had them guessing a lot and off-balance just because he was able to throw his off-speed stuff for strikes too."
Roehrich felt like his fastball was key. Roehrich, who threw 107 pitches and 71 strikes, struck out nine batters, allowed three hits and two walks but kept the Eagles scoreless. Hagen, who finished the game out, also struck out nine batters while allowing three earned runs, six hits and four walks.
"It was a well-pitched ball game on both sides," Eagles head coach Hans Anderson said. "They capitalized on a couple mistakes, got a couple key hits, we missed a couple chances, but that's why they're No. 1 and the defending state champions."
Tides turned in the second game where the Eagles finally got the bats going. Zach Kluvers went 4-for-4 from the plate and drove in three runs and scored three runs, while Jonathan Brooks, Jackson Roper and Brooks Brown each totaled three RBIs.
"We couldn't get any hits going in the first game. But we came back in the second game and hit the ball well," Kluvers said. "We wanted to split with them. We didn't want to get two losses in a row. We wanted to make a statement that we could beat them."
WF 000 002 2--4 6 1
FD 000 000 0--0 4 1
Roehrich, Faircloth (7) and Mertz. Hagen and Kluvers. W--Roehrich. L--Hagen. HR--none.
WF 105 03 --9 12 2
FD 72(10) 0x --19 11 0
Miraldi, Huber (1), Zepeda (3), Gravdahl (3) and Evenson. Motschenbacher, Strand (4) and Kluvers. W--Motschenbacher. L--Huber. HR--none.