Hamre Seed named Men's Master 40, Division 2 softball champions

 

September 6, 2021

Rob Johnson

The 2021 Men's Slow Pitch Maters 40, Division 2 state champions pose for a photo. Back row (l to r): Elliott Belquist, Chris Laite, Mike Shock, Jason Sateren, Curty Martinson, Steve "OG" Crowe, Steve Elfman, Darin Mikkelson, Nic Kreil; front row (l to r): Neil Goss, Corey Gilbertson, Darren Horton, Jacob Shock, Rob Johnson, Shane Hamre and Al Troy.

On August 21-22, Devils Lake Hamre Seed Clean/Elks competed in the Men's Master 40, the Division 2 men's slow pitch tournament in Jamestown. The 12 teams participating were guaranteed three games with double elimination.

Hamre Seeds' first opponent of the day was the West Fargo Rookies. With eleven runs in the top of the first, Hamre Seed defeated the Rookies 19-9 in five innings. Hamre Seed moved on to play the Bismarck TC Wolves/Makescents/Delebarre Trucking team. With a two-run home run by Steve Elfman and solid defense, Hamre Seed would take the 10-2 win over the Bismarck TC Wolves/Makescents/Delebarre Trucking team.

Next up on the bracket was the Minot Jus For You/Miller Law Office team. This team defeated Hamre Seed in the 2020 state tournament. They knew this was going to be a tough seven innings. Hamre Seed started off strong in the top of the first with nine runs, but lost momentum and only added one more run in the last six innings of the game. Minot Jus For You/Miller Law Office defeated Hamre Seed 19-10. As if the loss wasn't bad enough, player Allen Troy suffered an injury, which meant he could no longer play the rest of the weekend. With this tough loss, Hamre Seed was ready to fight for that trophy.


Hamre Seed then moved to the loser's bracket to take on Bismarck STEP Wellness at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Bismarck STEP Wellness started off with a 4-0 lead after the first inning, but Hamre Seed came back hot on their tails. Hamre Seed would then take an eight-run lead on Bismarck STEP Wellness, only giving up one run. The fifth inning would bring eight more runs for Hamre Seed to take the 19-6 win against Bismarck STEP Wellness.

The Ransom County Wombats were the next competitors. With a slow start for both teams, the score was tied 3-3 after the third inning. Hamre Seed would then put up six runs in the fourth inning, and the Wombats would put up three to bring the score to 9-6. But the Wombats came back in the fifth with five runs to take an 11-10 lead. Hamre Seed scored another run in the bottom of the seventh and held the Wombats to take the 12-11 win. During this game, Elliott Belquist suffered an injury. Belquist was able to play the rest of the weekend as pitcher, but he was unable to run the bases.

Next up, revenge on Minot Jus For You/Miller Law Office. With three runs in the first and seven runs in the second, Hamre Seed would take a 10-1 lead. Even though the nine-point lead was exciting, Steve Elfman would suffer a knee injury rounding second base. With Elfman out, Darin Mikkelson would take his place. Nic Kreil also suffered an injury, but would continue to play the rest of the day. The 10-1 lead turned into a 10-7 lead going in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hamre Seed put up one in the seventh and Minot Jus For You/Miller Law Office put up three to come up short. Hamre Seed would take the 11-10 win to move on to the championship.

With all of the injuries, Hamre Seed needed to switch up the lineup to coordinate with players who could not run the bases. Hamre Seed attempted to give the other team the opportunity to surrender during the coin toss, but Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers denied the terms, even after seeing what shape Hamre Seed was in. The Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers started off with six runs in the first inning, but Hamre Seed wasn't ready to back down from a fight yet. Hamre Seed put up four in the first inning. The score was now 6-4. With two more runs for the Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers, they would take the 8-4 lead in the bottom of the second. Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers added another two runs in the top of the third, but they weren't ready for Hamre Seed to light back up. Hamre Seed put up seven runs in the bottom of the third to take the 11-10 lead. With another run in the fourth and another run in the sixth, Hamre Seed would walk away with a 13-10 win.

As the tournament was double elimination, Hamre Seed would have to play Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers again to determine the champions. With a 10-minute break, Hamre Seed was ready to play. The first inning brought a 6-0 lead, with a three-run home run by Elliott Belquist and a two-run home run by Christ Laite. Hamre Seed then added three runs in the top of the second and five more runs in the top of the third. Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers then put up two in the bottom of the third off a home run. With the lead at 14-2, Hamre Seed would add two in the top of the fourth, and with a couple errors, Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers would put up eight in the bottom of the fourth. Two more runs for Hamre Seed in the fifth. Top of the sixth, Hamre Seed added another four runs to push Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth. The next batter for Bismarck Jeepers Sweepers hit a home run for an out and Hamre Seed was declared the champions.

 
 

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