Steffan helps Roughriders earn split in home finaleWhen Williston threatened in the top of the seventh inning on Sunday, the normally selfless Tyler Steffan put the game on his shoulders.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Dickinson Press
When Williston threatened in the top of the seventh inning on Sunday, the normally selfless Tyler Steffan put the game on his shoulders.
The lanky right-hander struck out the final three batters of the game, stranding two Williston runners in the Roughriders’ 7-3 victory at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“I knew if I could make it happen myself, I could guarantee the win,” Steffan said. “It paid off for me.”
Though he didn’t cruise by any means, he was effective in holding the Keybirds at bay. He allowed three runs — one earned — on seven hits, walking five and striking out seven in seven innings of work.
“He had a good curveball working today,” Dickinson coach Andy Emard said of Steffan, who caught four of his strikeout victims looking. “He changed speeds, and he threw more pitches than he has been lately. It’s nice to see him go deep (into a game) this late in the season.”
Williston (25-16 overall, 14-6 state) scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning when Casey Gardner and Alex Hanson each scored on two-out errors by Dickinson outfielders Tommy Peters and Caleb Burgard.
Trailing 2-0 early on didn’t faze Steffan, who struck out C.J. Vinger to end the inning.
He allowed just one run the rest of the way.
“Once we got a run in the first, I was very confident that we could get more runs,” Steffan said.
The Roughriders (29-7, 17-3) scored a run in the first and three more in the second, two of which came on an RBI single to center field by Ben Herauf.
Then, in the third, Laylock had a two-run single to put Dickinson up 6-2. Williston got a run back in the sixth as did Dickinson, when Tyler Steffan doubled to get on and was driven in by Caleb Burgard’s single down the first-base line. Steffan and Burgard each had two hits.
Williston starter Shawn Egge was pulled early because of control problems, though he came back to start the second game. Keybirds reliever Alex Hanson pitched the final 4Zc innings and took the loss.
“We couldn’t throw strikes,” said Williston coach Chip Devlin, whose team walked seven batters and plunked four. “We gave them too much free stuff.”
The doubleheader meant much more to Williston, which is in a dogfight with Fargo, Minot and Bismarck for the Nos. 2-5 seeds in Thursday’s state seeding tournament at Corbett Field in Minot. Dickinson has already wrapped up the state’s top seed.
Nonetheless, Devlin’s not concerned with where his team finishes in the seeding. He’s got other things on his mind.
“We simply need to beat Dickinson, so we know we can beat them when we have to,” Devlin said.
For the Roughriders, it’s about going into Thursday on a good note, though the Roughriders are still scheduled to play in Bozeman, Mont., on Tuesday.
“We still have stuff we have to polish off,” Emard said. “We’re still not where we need to be.”
Williston 200 001 0 — 3 7 1
Dickinson 132 001 x — 7 6 2
Shawn Egge, Alex Hanson (2) and Doug Richter. Tyler Steffan and Michael Steve. W–Steffan. L–Egge.
Highlights: W, Hanson 2-for-4, run, 2B; Richter 2-for-3, 2B. D, Steffan 7 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 7 K, 2-for-4, 2B, run; Caleb Burgard 2-for-3, walk, 2 runs, RBI; Eric Seiler 3 walks, 2 runs; Stephen Laylock 1-for-1, 2 RBI, 2 walks, HBP.
Williston 10, Dickinson 7
The Keybirds broke a 5-5 tie with a five-run sixth inning that saw Williston bat around its order.
Williston scored two runs in the first, but Dickinson answered with three in the bottom half.
Behind 4-2, the Keybirds came back with three more in the third thanks to a two-run double from cleanup hitter Doug Richter. Cole Frenzel scored to tie it at 5 on an RBI single by Steffan in the fourth inning.
Frenzel took over for starter Kyle Breen to start the fifth and struggled finding the strike zone, eventually taking the loss. He walked three of his first five batters in the sixth and gave up a two-run double to Williston’s Shawn Egge. Richter followed with a run-scoring single, and the Keybirds also scored a pair of runs on wild pitches. Williston led 10-5 when the damage was done.
Richter finished 3-for-4, and Egge and Hanson each had two hits.
Frenzel led a rally charge at the plate in the bottom half with his 22nd home run of the season, a 1-0 shot over the right-field fence from Williston reliever C.J. Vinger, who labored but picked up the win.
The Roughriders scored another run when Breen drew a bases-loaded walk, though the Keybirds got out of the inning on an Eric Seiler strikeout to follow. Dickinson stranded 14 runners in the nightcap and 25 in the doubleheader. They also threatened in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate. However, Vinger struck out Michael Steve to end the game.
NOTE: Stephen Laylock left in the fifth inning of the first game after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand. Emard said Laylock seemed fine, but will get X-rays just in case.
Williston 203 005 0 — 10 8 1
Dickinson 310 102 0 — 7 11 1
Egge, C.J. Vinger (4) and Richter. Kyle Breen, Frenzel (5), Connor McNeilly (6) and McNeilly, Steve (6). W–Vinger. L–Frenzel. HR–D, Frenzel (22).
Highlights: W, Richter 3-for-4, walk, 2 runs, stolen base, 4 RBI; Hanson 2-for-3, 3 runs; Egge 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2B, RBI.
Records: Williston 25-16 overall, 14-6 state; Dickinson 29-7, 17-3.