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Press Photo by Royal McGregor Carroll County (Iowa) Merchants left fielder Kyle Pudenz slides across home plate to score a run on a wild throw by the Dickinson Roughriders during a Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament opening-round game late Friday night at Southside Municipal Ballpark. The game began at 10:25 p.m. and did not end until 12:50 a.m. Friday.

Carroll County tops Roughriders in game that stretches into Friday morning

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The Dickinson Roughriders' game against Carroll County, Iowa, started at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and ended at 12:49 a.m. Friday.

Carroll County didn't seemed phased by a two-hour rain delay that preceded its game, however, beating Dickinson 13-3 in the final game of the opening round of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament at Southside Municipal Park. The Merchants ended the game in the eighth inning via the 10-run rule.

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"I really didn't know how we would react to the rain delay," Carroll County head coach Matt Lujano said. "We came in and did warm ups and we were ready to go. Then the rain started. It was nice to come out and jump on (Dickinson).

"You just never know with something like that."

The Merchants (15-3) put up four runs in the first and that was all starter Chris Halber needed for support. Halber threw six innings and allowed one run while striking out nine.

"I think anytime you come to a tournament like this and only give up two hits and one run, you are doing pretty well," Lujano said. "He (Halber) was around the zone and we were really happy to see him do that."

Halber's one allowed run was scored by Dickinson catcher Brady Dutchak, who came home from third base on a balk.

Dickinson (12-24), in the tournament of state champions and runners-up because it is the host, committed five errors in the first two innings.

Head coach Andy Emard knew the Roughriders would have to play flawless baseball if they hoped to stay in games during the tournament.

"(Carroll County) put pressure on us," he said. "We've got to play flawless baseball. We didn't even come close to that."

Dickinson likely gets 12 hours between games. The Roughriders face Lino Lakes, Minn., in a loser-out contest at approximately 1 p.m. today. It is the second game of the morning and afternoon session doubleheader.

Halber held Dickinson hitless until the sixth inning when Grant Dvorak singled to right field. The Roughriders tallied back-to-back hits as Tevin Rettig-Papineau singled to left. The threat ended when Dickinson starting pitcher Scott Gordon grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Gordon threw six innings, allowing eight runs (five earned) and striking out five. The only inning Gordon encountered real trouble was the first. After that, he started to settle down.

"Scott threw well," Emard said. "When he was ahead in the count, he was able to throw strikes."

The spark for the Merchants was supplied by leadoff hitter Brandon Wessels, who went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and scored two runs.

"Our top, three kids can hit anywhere in the order," Lujano said. "He's just a great player, you ask for much more from him.

"Tonight he'll be behind the plate. He's one of the guys that can just go anywhere on the field."

Carroll County plays Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest in second game of tonight's nightcap doubleheader at approximately 8 p.m.

Ben Bruck added three hits, drove in and scored two runs for the Merchants.

Chris McVey relieved Halber and lasted 2/3 innings. The Carroll County reliever had a tough time find the striking zone, giving up three walks that scored one run. Bruck finished the game, tossing 1 1/3 innings. He allowed one unearned run and struck out two.

Brodie Candrian tossed the final two innings for the Roughriders and gave up five runs while walking five batters.

Dickinson 001 000 11 -- 3 4 5

CC 411 200 23 -- 13 12 2

Scott Gordon, Brodie Candrian (8) and Brady Dutchak. Chris Halber, Chris McVey (6) Ben Bruck (7).

W-Halber. L-Gordon. HR-CC, Brandon Wessels.

Highlights: D, Tevin Papineau 2-for-4, run; Sean Kelly 1-for-3, RBI; Grant Dvorak 1-for-4. CC, Brandon Wessels 3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Cody Williams 2-for-5; Casey Berg 1-for-2, RBI; Bryce Wessels 2-for-3, RBI; Bruck 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs

Records: Carroll County (15-3), Dickinson (12-24).

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