Fargo's Post 2 American Legion baseball team is taking on the appearance of a juggernaut.
The Fargoans romped streamroller-like to a 12-1 start, roughing up most of the North Dakota competition it faced.
Mandan's Chiefs weren't able to slow Fargo down on Tuesday night, dropping a 5-0, 12-1 doubleheader to Post 2 at Memorial Ballpark.
Fargo pitched, hit and defended at a high level, banging out 22 hits, surrendering one run and committing just one miscue.
Fargo Davies graduate Taylor Parrett, a 19-year-old right-hander, set the tone in the first game, holding the Chiefs hitless before surrendering the ball after 105 pitches and five and two-thirds innings.
Parrett, whose fastball topped out at 87 mph on the Memorial Ballpark radar gun, simply overwhelmed the Chiefs. A throwing error by shortstop Zach Kluvers put Mandan's Isaac Huettl aboard in the third inning.
In the fifth, Parrett, 6-foot, 190-pounder, showed his only sign of vulnerability. He walked three batters, but worked his way out of a 32-pitch jam. He said those walks and the Mandan batters' tendency to foul off two-strike pitches proved costly.
"Without the foul balls and the three-walk inning I could have gone all the way," he said.
He walked three and struck out six when he reached the mandatory pitch limit with two out in the sixth inning, his no-hitter still intact.
Reliever Austin Manuel hit Jaxon Duttenhefer, the first man he faced, with a pitch and surrendered a ground ball single to center field by Easton Andresen before closing out the inning. Huettl reached Manuel for a harmless single to right field in the seventh inning.
Parrett, who was a baseball redshirt at North Dakota State University this spring, said he probably could have continued. However, he said the pitch limit rule is a good one.
"I think it's important to have a pitch count ... especially at our age," he said. "... There are situations where some coaches overthrow their pitchers."
Still, there was that no-hitter in progress.
"It would have been cool to see a team no-hitter, but I was just happy to see (Manuel) put up a zero. It was his first time throwing on the varsity," Parrett observed.
Parrett has already visited no-hit land at the Legion baseball level. He threw a no-hitter last summer and lost a second gem with two out in the seventh inning.
He said he let his fastball do most of the work on Tuesday.
"I came a lot with the fastball, I'd say about 90 percent. Probably about seven percent curveballs and the rest change-ups," he said.
He said he's been clocked faster than 87 mph on the radar gun in the past, but was happy with his ability throw a lot of his pitches in the mid- to upper-eighties.
"I've been a little higher than that, but today was pretty average as far as consistency," he noted.
Mandan right-hander Jacob Weiand took the first-game loss, but held Post 2 to six hits.
The second game, the Fargo bats began talking. Post 2 rapped 16 hits to back a solid four-hitter by right-hander Jonas Sanders. Sanders threw 74 pitches in the contest, which was terminated by the 10-run mercy rule. He walked one and struck out three.
Andresen and Huettl singled and Weiand doubled to account for Mandan's lone run in the fifth inning.
Kluvers, Jake McKeever and Manuel each rapped three hits for Post 2 in the second game and Brandt Kolpack singled twice and reached base four times. Kolpack knocked in four runs and scored three times.
Fargo, now 14-1 and 6-0 statewide, returns to action today, visiting Watertown, S.D., for a doubleheader. Mandan, 3-13, gets long break before visiting Bismarck for a single game on June 25.