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Midgets split with Demons: Bismarck takes advantage of errors to score 7 late runs, DHS manages 2nd game win

Dickinson junior Luke Herauf pitches to Bismarck High’s Quinn Irey during the opener game of a West Region doubleheader on Friday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field1 / 2
Dickinson junior Mark Erickson connects with a pitch for his first hit of the season during the opener game of a West Region doubleheader on Friday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.2 / 2

Entering the first game, Dickinson junior Mark Erickson was 0 for 11.

Erickson broke the hitless streak with a single in the fifth inning. He scored a game-tying run on a RBI single by Luke Herauf.

The junior catcher felt like his swing has changed from the beginning of the season until now.

“With my swing, it’s been a work in progress all season,” Erickson said. “Ben Herauf (Luke Herauf’s older brother) has been helping me a lot. It feels a lot better and it’s gotten 110 percent since the first day of practice.”

However, the Dickinson High baseball team couldn’t keep the momentum as Bismarck High capitalized on miscues to score seven runs in the final two innings to take a 9-2 West Region win on Friday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field. The Midgets managed to take the split with an 8-5 win.

“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz about the three errors his team committed in the game. “We had more errors than runs again. It’s been kind of the story of the year so far when we win or when we lose. Two of our three conference losses, we had too many errors. Defensively we’ve got to fix that.

“We aren’t 100 percent focused all the time. That’s the issue that we have when we lose.”

The Demons scored two runs in the sixth inning and five in the seventh. The five-run seventh inning began on a leadoff home run from Quinn Irey. Jared Spooner, who ripped the game-winning two-run single in the sixth inning, hit a two-RBI triple in the seventh.

Dickinson junior starter Luke Herauf lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out five. Cole Anderson came in for relief for 1 1/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits — which included Irey’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning.

Herauf admitted he didn’t have his best pitches.

“I struggled to throw strikes,” he said. “I couldn’t get my curveball going and then once I did, we’d make an error and then I’d get all worked up. Then I would do something else dumb and I couldn’t throw any more strikes. I’d put a guy on and then they’d get a hit.”

Bismarck’s starting pitcher Nathan Dinga went seven innings, allowed two runs on nine hits and struck out six. The Demons’ head coach Jim Patton said he feels confident when Dinga takes the mound.

“That is 100 percent Nathan Dinga,” Patton said. “He added a curveball this year, so he’s a three-pitch pitcher. I never worry about a pitch count with him, because I know he’s going to throw a lot of pitches, but he’s always around the zone.”

In the second game, Tanner Ihmels and Mehrer combined for five innings, allowed five runs on four hits and struck out two.

Dickinson’s Tanner Hopfauf, Andrew Heckaman and Luke Herauf each supplied two RBI. Hopfauf and Heckaman each also had a double. The Midgets had seven different players score a run.

Bismarck’s Mickey Folske, who played for the Midgets last season, was tagged with the loss. He went 2 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on three hits.

The Midgets have a quick turnaround traveling to Bismarck Century at noon today. Dobitz said he’s looking to the upperclassmen to set the tone.

“I kind of put it on those seven seniors I have that they have to develop some leadership,” Dobitz said. “That isn’t going to happen in the game. It’s going to happen in practice.”

Bismarck 002 002 5 — 9 13 1

Dickinson 010 010 0 — 2 8 4

Nathan Dinga and Quinn Irey. Luke Herauf, Cole Anderson (6) and Mark Erickson.

W–Dinga. L–Herauf. HR–B, Irey.

Highlights: B, Irey 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI; Jared Spooner 4 for 5, 3B, 3 RBI, run; Brandon Gieszler 1 for 3, 3 runs; Ben Hildestad 2 for 3, run; Jaxon Ford 1 for 3, RBI, run; Kale Ohlhauser 2 for 4, run. D, Joe Mayer 2 for 3; Dylan Wallner 2 for 4; Erickson 1 for 3, run; Mitchell Mehrer 1 for 3, RBI; Brett Schweitzer 1 for 2; Herauf 1 for 3, RBI.

Bismarck 020 12 — 5 4 1

Dickinson 033 2x — 8 5 1

Mickey Folske, Ben Hildestad (3) and Coleton Ford. Tanner Ihmels, Mitchell Mehrer (5) and Andrew Heckaman.

W–Ihmels. L–Folske. HR–None.

Highlights: B, Tre Kautzman 3 for 3, 2 3B, RBI, 2 runs; Ford 1 for 3, run. D, Heckaman 1 for 1, 2B, 2 RBI; Luke Herauf 1 for 1, 2 RBI; Tanner Hopfauf 1 for 2, 2B, 2 RBI, run; Brett Schweitzer 1 for 1, run; Mitchell Mehrer 1 for 2; Kendall Jones 2 runs; Skabo RBI.