Patient approach sends Riders past DubuqueMINNETONKA, Minn. — With Tyler Steffan cruising on the mound, the Dickinson Roughriders used a combination of walks and hits to advance at the Central Plains Regional.
MINNETONKA, Minn. — With Tyler Steffan cruising on the mound, the Dickinson Roughriders used a combination of walks and hits to advance at the Central Plains Regional.
Steffan gave up two earned runs on seven hits in seven solid innings, leading the Riders to a 10-3 drubbing of Dubuque County (Iowa) in loser-out action Saturday at Veterans Field. All games are now seven innings to help make up lost time.
“I, actually, wasn’t feeling that great,” Steffan said. “My arm wasn’t getting loose and I had trouble finding the zone early. The defense did a good job of making plays and I kept working through it.”
Dickinson is among four teams remaining at the tournament, the others being Pittsburg (Kan.), Festus (Mo.) and Omaha (Neb.). The winner of the tournament earns a spot in next weekend’s American Legion World Series at Newman Outdoor Stadium in Fargo.
The Riders play at 4 p.m. today against the winner of today’s 10 a.m. game between Pittsburg and Festus, who are meeting for an automatic berth in the championship game.
“The pitching’s got to be there (today),” said Steffan, who mentioned that Michael Steve will get the nod on the hill. “If we can get a good game out of him, we’ve got a shot at winning it.”
Dickinson benefited from a lack of control by Dubuque’s pitchers, who combined to walk 10 batters. Eight of those free passes came in the second and third innings when the Roughriders scored nine runs, managing just three hits.
“That’s been our whole game plan the entire season,” Steffan said. “We have quality at-bats and make the pitcher come to us. We don’t want to chase a bad pitch. They were throwing balls and guys took some pitches. When they threw it across the plate, we got some big hits.”
After scoring three in the second and allowing Dubuque two in the bottom half, Dickinson (40-10) fired back with six more, two of which came on a two-out single to center field by Cole Frenzel to cap the scoring.
Though they managed 10 runs, the only Rider to finish with multiple hits was Kyle Breen, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Breen entered the game 0-for-5 in the tourney.
“I’ve been frustrated a little bit,” Breen said. “Coach told me to calm down and be aggressive.”
Breen’s first hit was a bunt single that plated the first run of the game. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to drive in his second run and in the fourth, he drilled an RBI single to the left-center field gap.
“I jumped on that fastball,” Breen said.
Dubuque starter Matthew McCullough took the loss, surrendering seven runs in 2Zc innings of work. Shawn McGinnis and Eric DeSousa each had two hits for Dubuque, which was eliminated after dropping two straight following a win over Omaha in the tournament opener.
With pitching depth getting thinner in the tournament, Breen and Steffan agreed hitting teams gain the advantage.
“It’ll come down to who can hit,” Breen said. “By the looks of it, we have one of the best hitting teams here.”
Dickinson 10, Dubuque County (Iowa) 3
Dickinson 036 100 0 — 10 6 1
Dubuque 020 001 0 — 3 7 1
Tyler Steffan and Michael Steve. Matthew McCullough, Ryan Doty (3), Austin Vogt (6) and Mitchell Gotto. W—Steffan. L—Seiler. HR—None.
Highlights: D, Kyle Breen 2-for-3, run, walk, 3 RBI; Cole Frenzel 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Caleb Burgard 1-for-4, RBI; Steffan 7 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 0 HB, 6 K, 1-for-2, 2 BB, 3 runs, stolen base; Tommy Peters 1-for-3, 2 runs. DC, Shawn McGinnis 2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs, 2B; Eric DeSousa 2-for-3, 2 2Bs, run.