Hettinger falls to Kindred-Richland at stateMANDAN — The Hettinger Black Devils went back to the Class B state baseball tournament for the first time in 51 years on Thursday and what did they run into?
By: Scooter Pursley, For The Dickinson Press
MANDAN — The Hettinger Black Devils went back to the Class B state baseball tournament for the first time in 51 years on Thursday and what did they run into?
Kindred-Richland hurler Nick Milbrandt, he of the 0.160 earned run average and a 5-0 record.
Make that 6-0.
Milbrandt scattered three hits and struck out 11 to lead the Vikings to an 8-2 win their first state tourney game since 1959. That year, Hettinger beat the Vikings in the first round, accord-ing to Kindred-Richland players.
Hettinger coach Joe Perkins gave the Vikings their due, but he said the Black Devils themselves were just as responsible for Het-tinger dropping into the consola-tion round.
“Worst game we’ve played all year,” Perkins said. “Not taking anything away from Kindred, cause they played well, but that’s the worst game we played all year. Three errors? I counted five. Generous scorekeeping.”
The Black Devils committed just three errors, but miscues in the field proved costly, especially after Hettinger took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third against a pitcher was an 0.16 ERA coming in.
By the time the third inning ended, Kindred-Richland was up 5-2.
“You can’t make mistakes or you’ll lose ... end of story,” Per-kins said.
Staked to a lead, Milbrandt coasted the rest of the way. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.
“I was a little nervous at the start, but I got into the game and then it was just me and (catcher) Jason (Van Horn),” Milbrandt said. “He calls them and I throw them.”
Hettinger took an early took an early lead after Dylan Chadwick reached on a fielder’s choice in the third inning. Nate Pierce reached on an error and both scored on Chad Mosbrucker’s two-run single.
But the Vikings sent 10 batters to the plate in the third. Two runs scored when Pierce threw the ball past second on a fielder’s choice. Austin Dahlgren’s sacrifice fly plated a run, as did Casey Reinke’s single. Pierce’s second error of the inning made it 5-2.
The Black Devils didn’t get an-other ball out of the infield.
“The first time all year that we they got down, they couldn’t get back up,” Perkins said. “It hap-pens. They can still come back and win some more.”
Hettinger starter Ben Laufer went all the way and gave up just five hits. He struck out seven, walked five and hit two batters. Four of those scored.
Only four of Laufer’s runs were earned.
Austin Dahlgren and Alex Shields drove in two runs each. Dahlgren also stole three bases. Daniel Julson had a double and scored two runs.
Hettinger plays Dakota Prairie in today’s consolation round, while Kindred-Richland advances to tonight’s semifinals.
Hettinger 002 000 0 — 2 3 3
KR 005 012 x — 8 5 1
Ben Laufer and Caleb Larson. Nicholas Milbrandt and Jason Van Horn. W–Milbrandt (1-0). L–Laufer (0-1). HR–School, Name.
Highlights: H, Dylan Chadwick, 1-for-3, run; Chad Mosbrucker, 1-for-3, 2 RBI; McCahen Schweitzer, 1-for-2. KR, Austin Dahlgren, 1-for-2, 2 RBI, run; Daniel Julson, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs, 2B; Sean Cose, 1-for-2, run, 3B.
Records: Kindred-Richland, 12-9-1. Hettinger, 10-8.