Belfield host Babe Ruth District 5 tournament

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Jul. 13—BELFIELD, N.D. — It was a perfect summer day for baseball on day one of the Babe Ruth B District 5 tournament on Monday. Stands were filled, hotdogs were eaten and the love of the game was apparent from the 13- through 15-year-old athletes, coming as far as Garrison, North Dakota.

The double elimination competition, featuring eight teams, saw 82 runs in the first round of play.

"This tournament is huge for the town of Belfield," Quentin Obrigetwitsch, tournament coordinator and Knights head coach, said. "We had a lot of people come here. These teams travel well and it's great to see a lot of people from these towns come here and support our small town... It was a nice day for baseball, we had a good breeze in the morning when it was warm out and we look forward to tomorrow."

Split between North and South teams, the first game was played between Garrison, the North's No.1 seed and the South's fourth seed, Bowman. It was a slugfest that included a Garrison home run. Ending 20-10, Bowman unable to keep the momentum after winning the play-in game against Lemmon and will have to fight to stay alive in the loser's bracket.

Bowman's opponent will be the Hettinger Bears, after they lost in a 18-0 blowout game against Hazen Lumberkings. Hettinger were down 6-0 before the bulk of runs came in the sixth inning to end the game.

The Lumberkings catcher G. Holen went 3-for-4 in the batter's box and accumulated the most RBIs with five, including a standup double.

Belfield/South Heart Knights featured two teams in the tourney due to their large roster. The first team was made up of younger players wearing purple jerseys, who lost to Beulah in a 12-5 contest.

The young co-op team held a momentary lead at the top of the first, but it quickly evaporated from Beulah's hot bats. It was a 7-3 game before the third inning and the chance came to even the score with bases loaded, but the crucial hit needed never came.

The final game reflected the high level of competition in the division, with a close and thrilling game between No. 1 Knights of the South — going into the tourney 6-0 in division play — and the North's lowest seed Washburn.

"It was an exciting game and we gutted out a victory there for sure," Obrigewitsch said. "Wahsburn brought it and our kids all participated and had a role in that game and we all did our jobs to the best of our abilities... We haven't been in a lot of close games this year, so it was good to get that in the tournament right away."

It ended 9-8 with the Knights on top, but it started with Washburn holding a three-run lead at the top of the second inning.

The Belfield co-op surged for a rally taking a 7-4 lead at the bottom of the third and then extended it by two runs in the fifth inning. The two sides went into the final inning with 9-6 on the scoreboard.

The Knights switched out their pitcher trying to defend a bases loaded with no outs situation, but two runners were able to cross the plate from an error and a pass ball to make it a one-run game.

Washburn was unable to get the tying run needed before Belfield-South Heart got the final putout and game ended after the first frame of the seventh.

The next round of games will eliminate the first two teams from the competition with Bowman facing Hettinger and Belfield-South Heart Purple up against Washburn. Narrowing down the winner's bracket to two, Garrison will go toe-to-toe against Hazen and Belfield-South Heart Gray will look to avenge their younger team in their matchup against Beulah.