After falling to Minot State in opener, Dickinson State pounds out hits to force splitThe Dickinson State baseball team had waited all spring to play in front of its home crowd.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson State baseball team had waited all spring to play in front of its home crowd.
The Blue Hawks sent their fans home happy Tuesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
DSU defeated Minot State 11-2 in the second game of its only varsity home doubleheader of the season after letting the first game slip away in a 6-5 defeat.
“There’s nothing like it,” DSU senior Derek Carley said. “Coming off 42 games on the road, to come home and play, it felt good.”
Carley went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs in the second game while Brock Murphy hit a solo home run in the third inning and sparked a six-run fourth with a two-run double down the right-field line.
Carley, who was the Dakota Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player last season as a junior, said playing in front of a home crowd — there were several fans at the park throughout both games — made for a great career send-off.
“Every time we got a hit, they were loving it,” he said. “We were loving it. There’s nothing like it.”
The easy victory was a nice relief after DSU gave up what looked to be a win in the making in the opener.
The Blue Hawks led 4-3 in the top of the seventh with two outs and closer Andrew Grafton on the mound.
But, Minot State turned the game around after Mike Turcotte broke up a double play sliding into second base on the Mitch Olson’s hit to the pitcher’s mound. Turcotte was out at second, but his break up allowed Olson to reach first, which would have been the third out and kept Jordan Gilmour from scoring the tying run from third base.
DSU head coach Jason Watson disputed the call, but his effort was futile.
Two batters later, Scott Peters hit a two-run double to right center.
The Blue Hawks tried battling back in the bottom of the inning, tacking on one run on Brock Murphy’s one-out single before Beavers junior pitcher Cole Stober closed out his victory by striking out Tanner Newman.
“That first game, we found a way to scrap there and got a few runs,” Minot State head coach Brock Weppler said. “It looked at the end there like we were giving them away to get back into it, but we closed them out.”
DSU scored its first three runs on home runs by senior Travis Setere. He had a two-run shot in the first and a solo homer to lead off the fourth.
Murphy put DSU ahead 4-3 in the sixth on a RBI bunt single.
Minot State’s late comeback led to senior Andrew Grafton taking the loss, his first blown save of the season.
Watson said his faith in Grafton was never shaken though.
“If (the second) game would have came down to it, where it was a close situation, he was going right back out there,” Watson said. “I love his mentality. He’s one tough guy.”
DSU wouldn’t need Grafton in the second game.
Senior starting pitcher C.J. Ketron settled in after giving up a two-run double to Olson in the first inning and his teammates responded by piling on the runs.
Murphy gave DSU the lead for good in the fourth, senior Erik Bastio scored on a wild pitch and Murphy came home on senior Justin Elizondo’s double. Carley closed out the scoring in the inning with a two-run single that gave the Blue Hawks an 8-2 advantage.
Murphy, Carley and Newman added RBI singles in the fifth.
“All the seniors played really well today,” said Watson, who is in his first year as head coach. “It’s something they’ll always remember, and that’s something I addressed after the second game.”
The Blue Hawks wrap up their season this weekend in Mayville at the DAC Tournament after failing to reach the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament.
They face Mayville State at 9 a.m. Friday and Valley City State at noon. DSU closes out its season at 9 a.m. Saturday against Jamestown College.
“I kind of wish we would have gone to the (AII) tournament, but it is what it is,” Setere said. “We’ve got to come out and play hard in the last three.”
MSU 200 100 3 — 6 12 1
DSU 200 110 1 — 5 8 1
Cole Stober and Connor Moughtin. Nick Kearley, Erik Bastio (6), Andrew Grafton (7) and Zach Griffith. W–Stober. L– Grafton. HR–DSU, Travis Setere 2.
Highlights: MSU, Jordan Gilmour 2-for-2, RBI, 2 runs; Caleb Heilman 1-for-2, run; Mike Turcotte 2-for-2; Mitch Olson 1-for-3, 2 RBI, run; Scott Peters 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, run; Connor Moughtin 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Andrew Roach 2-for-3, run; Trevor Gust 1-for-3; Stober 7 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 5 K, 0 BB. DSU, Tanner Newman 1-for-4, RBI; Derek Carley 1-for-3, 2B, run; Travis Setere 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI; Justin Elizondo 2-for-3, 2 2B, run; Brock Murphy 2-for-3, RBI, run; Kearley 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 4 BB; Grafton 1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 0 BB.
MSU 200 000 0 — 2 6 2
DSU 002 630 x — 11 14 1
Zane Sawyer, Jamin Heller (4), Ben Sansaver (5) and Brian Vine. C.J. Ketron, Conor Hartz (6) and Zach Griffith. W–Ketron. L–Sawyer. HR–DSU, Brock Murphy.
Highlights: MSU, Jordan Gilmour 2-for-3, run; Mike Turcotte 2-for-3, run; Mitch Olson 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Doug Richter 1-for-2. DSU, Jacob Muir 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 runs; Tanner Newman 1-for-4, RBI; Derek Carley 4-for-4, 4 RBI; Travis Setere 1-for-3, 2B; Zach Griffith 2-for-3, run; Jon Mendoza 1-for-3, run; Erik Bastio 1-for-3, 2 runs; Brock Murphy 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 runs; Justin Elizondo 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, run; Ketron 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 0 BB.
Records: DSU 21-23, MSU 8-29.