Summer baseball is all about growth, and for the Mandan Chiefs are proving it. The team went from five wins in June to already posting four halfway through July.
On Monday the Chiefs looked for wins five and six against the Minot Vistas.
With a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh, Minot loaded the bases, but Mandan’s Ty Leingang snagged a line drive to end the threat and keep the Chiefs within striking distance.
With the Chiefs down to their final out, first baseman Jaxon Duttenhefer came up with a clutch RBI hit to tie the game and force extras.
In the eighth, Minot again loaded the bases, and this time the timely hit arrived. Johnny Tubbs delivered a single that scored two runs to make it 7-5. The Chiefs could not answer back, giving the Vistas the 7-5 win.
The second game was tied 1-1 in the seventh, but Minot tallied five runs in the top of the frame to win 6-1 and earn a sweep of Mandan.
Also in Class AA, the Bismarck Governors were in Fargo for a doubleheader. The Governors lost the first game 12-2, but the team rebounded to take the second game by a score of 7-1.
Elsewhere in Legion action, the Bismarck Reps played a doubleheader at the BPS athletic Complex, and both games went their way.
The Reps took on the Capitals in the first game, but it was a one-sided affair.
Already up 10-1 in the fifth, Brandon Schaffer smacked a two-RBI single to right field to put the Reps up 12-1.
Will Madler was next to the plate, and he hit a single to almost the same spot as Schaffer’s. Paxton Miller scored on the hit for the Reps’ thirteenth run of the game.
Several wild pitches with the bases loaded allowed more runs to score in the fifth, and the Reps triggered the mercy rule after five with a 17-1 win.
After a half-hour break, the Reps welcomed Washburn to the diamond.
Washburn kicked things off early. First baseman Kolby Yantzer delivered a liner into left center that scored Karson Backer to give Washburn the 1-0 lead.
Bismarck responded in the bottom of the first. After a Washburn throwing error put runners on second and third with no outs, Canaan Fagerland delivered a two-RBI double to give the Reps the lead.
Bismarck would not relinquish the lead, finishing with a 6-3 win over Washburn.
The Reps have finished the regular season atop Class A Southwest. The regional tournament begins on Thursday at Dwyer Field.