Hettinger tops Wolves in 7th-place gameMANDAN — Senior Gaven Schweitzer took the mound Saturday knowing it might be his last game pitching for Hettinger.
By: Scooter Pursley, The Dickinson Press
MANDAN — Senior Gaven Schweitzer took the mound Saturday knowing it might be his last game pitching for Hettinger.
The right-hander from Lemmon, S.D., cowboyed up, survived seven errors by his defense and bulldogged his way to a 10-7 win in the seventh-place game at the Class B state baseball tournament.
Schweitzer struck out six and walked five. The Wolves made it closer than it was by scoring four in the seventh with the help of two Black Devils errors.
“I just tried to stay positive, knowing my defense would be there in the end for me,” Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer said after the game that he is unsure whether he will play American Legion baseball for Lemmon or Hettinger this summer, and approached the game that way.
“It was very important to me,” Schweitzer said. “I wanted to end my high school career with a win.”
Schweitzer also helped his cause at the plate. He walked three times and was hit by a pitch. All told, Watford City pitchers issued 13 free passes.
“You’re not going to win very many games with (13) walks,” Watford City coach Justin Johnson said. “You can’t give guys free bases, you have to make them earn it. If you walk a couple, almost like clockwork the third guy comes up and they score a run and put you in a tough spot.”
The Wolves also struggled on defense with three errors. Of Hettinger’s 10 runs, only three were earned, and seven of the 10 reached by walk, hit batsman or error.
Watford City got the jump on the Black Devils with two runs in the first. Trey Jacobson walked and later scored on Doug Rolfson’s sacrifice fly.
Karson Knudtson made it 2-0 on two-out throwing error.
By the third inning, the Black Devils were ahead to stay, going up 4-2. They added six more runs in the fourth.
“I was very relieved then. I could relax more,” Schweitzer said of the big inning.
Nick Liebel started and took the loss for the Wolves. He went only two innings and left in the third after giving up no hits but walking six.
“Nick struggled today. I don’t know why,” Johnsrud said.
So did reliever Lucas Nicholson, who walked four and gave up three hits and five earned runs.
“It was very uncharacteristic of those guys,” Johnsrud said. “They’ve been solid all year.”
Ben Laufer was 2-for-3 and scored twice for Hettinger. McCahen Schweitzer scored twice and drove in two runs and Gaven Schweitzer was credited with two runs after courtesy runners scored.
Dylan Chadwick had a triple and drove in three runs from the ninth spot in the order.
Jacobson was 2-for-3 with a double, scored a run and drove in three for the Wolves. Paul Martin and Chris Larsen were each 2-for-4.
The Black Devils were in the state tournament for the first time since 1960 and ended only their second season of baseball since restarting the program last year with an 11-9 overall record.
WC 200 101 3 — 7 8 3
Hettinger 013 600 x — 10 6 7
Nick Liebel, Lucas Nicholson (3), Paul Martin (4) and Karson Knudtson. Gaven Schweitzer and Ben Laufer, Caleb Larson (2). W–Schweitzer. L–Liebel. HR–None.
Highlights: WC, Trey Jacobson 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, run; Karson Knudtson 0-for-5, RBI, run; Douglas Rolfson 0-for-3, RBI; Paul Martin 2-for-4; Shawn Fulwider 2-for-4; Chris Larsen 2 runs. H, Schweitzer 7 IP, 8 H, 6 K, 5 BB; Laufer 2-for-3, 2 runs; McCahen Schweitzer 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Caleb Larson 1-for-3, 2 RBI, run; Matt Schneider 1-for-3, RBI; Dylan Chadwick 1-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI.
Records: Watford City 17-4, Hettinger 11-9.