BASEBALL: Dickinson errors lead to Century victoryThe team that wins the West Region baseball championship will likely be the one committing the fewest errors.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The team that wins the West Region baseball championship will likely be the one committing the fewest errors.
Dickinson wasn’t that team Saturday with the West’s top spot on the line at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
The Midgets couldn’t overcome Bismarck Century senior pitcher Alex Bray and the Patriots capitalized on Dickinson’s miscues to take a 5-2 victory in a game between two teams that were tied atop the region coming into the day. The Midgets won the nonconference game 4-1.
Dickinson errors led to Century’s first three runs and Hunter Walsh added a two-run single in the sixth to give the Patriots an extra edge.
“What happens is, when you get down like that — and how you got down, not the fact that they hit the ball hard but the fact that you gave them it — sometimes mentally it’s tough to come back,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said.
A would-be double-play ball to Midgets senior shortstop Jon Wanner in the first inning turned into an error and scored a run. Then to open the third inning, back-to-back Dickinson errors on Bray and catcher Hunter Walsh’s at-bats led to two Century’s runs.
Tom Fraase’s sacrifice fly scored Bray and Dickinson starting pitcher Mason Schiff walked in Walsh with the bases loaded.
Dickinson’s only runs came in the fourth inning when Bray was having control problems.
Bray hit back-to-back batters, the latter a fastball to the back of Midgets catcher Brady Dutchak with the bases loaded to score Tanner Hofpauf. Taylor Thiel drove in Wanner, who had reached on a walk, with a sacrifice fly to center field on the next at-bat.
Schiff had a chance to tie the game in the fifth when Bray’s wild pitch went over Walsh’s head. But, Walsh was quick to react and threw out a sliding Schiff at home to end the inning.
Bray got out of jams seemingly whenever he had to.
Dickinson left 13 runners on base, including 10 in the five innings Bray pitched. The right-hander struck out eight, walked six and hit four batters.
“I didn’t come out and throw my best, but I got enough over the plate to get the win,” Bray said. “I’m still trying to find the zone and hit my spots regularly, especially today. I didn’t throw that well. I’ve got to give credit to my fellas. They played good D behind me and they put some runs up on the board for me.”
Bray started and took a no decision in the teams’ first meeting this season, a 7-0 Dickinson victory at Century.
Century (13-7, 7-2 West) moved into sole possession of the region’s No. 1 spot with less than half of the regular season remaining.
“They got one from us earlier in the season and we had to even up the score,” Century co-head coach Mike Gustavsson said. “The kids were excited to be out here and we played a good game.”
Schiff pitched the first 2Zc innings and was relieved by senior Kory Kallenbach after walking in Walsh. He came back in to pitch the seventh and finished with four strikeouts, three walks and one earned run while giving up just two hits.
“I’m happy with our pitching,” Dobitz said. “We’re not walking a tremendous amount of people. We’re letting them hit the ball. Gosh, we’ve got to make the plays on defense.”
Brett Braunagel had a double and drove in two runs for the Midgets in the second game.
Dickinson is back at home for a doubleheader against Bismarck St. Mary’s at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Century 102 002 0 — 5 6 2
Dickinson 000 200 0 — 2 5 3
Alex Bray, Alex Horning (6) and Hunter Walsh. Mason Schiff, Kory Kallenbach (3), Schiff (7) and Brady Dutchak. W–Bray. L–Schiff. S– Horning. HR–None.
Highlights: C, Bray 5 IP, 8 K, 6 BB, 4 HBP, 4 H, 2 ER; Walsh 1-for-2, 3 RBI; Ryan Gesellchen 2-for-4; Logan Krivoruchka 1-for-3; Tom Fraase 0-for-3, RBI; Tyler Mongeon 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB; Ben Buchholz 1-for-3. D, Schiff 3.2 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 5 BB, 1 ER; Dutchak 0-for-2, RBI, 2 HBP; Taylor Thiel 1-for-2, RBI; Brett Schweitzer 1-for-4.
Century 000 01 — 1 4 2
Dickinson 003 1x — 4 7 1
Cyril Nagurski, Andrew Bargmann (4) and Hunter Huff-Towle. Brett Schweitzer, Logan Tisor (4) and Mark Erickson. W–Schweitzer. L–Nagurski. HR–None.
Highlights: C, Ryan Gesellchen 1-for-2, 2B; Matt Keller 0-for-2, RBI. D, Taylor Kraenzel 2-for-3; Taylor Thiel 2-for-3; Brett Braunagel 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Tanner Hofpauf 1-for-1, RBI, SB; Schweitzer 3 IP, 2 K, 2 H.
Records: Dickinson 9-7, 5-3 West; Century 13-7, 7-2 West.