CENTRAL PLAINS REGIONAL: Roughriders upset West Des Moines, 3-1Dickinson didn’t want to recreate its one-hit, 10-run loss experience from Thursday night. In fact, the American Legion baseball team didn’t want to stop playing at all.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson didn’t want to recreate its one-hit, 10-run loss experience from Thursday night.
In fact, the American Legion baseball team didn’t want to stop playing at all.
“(On Thursday), we had one hit and we just weren’t ready to play,” Dickinson shortstop Dylan Skabo said. “(On Friday), we came out with better approaches at the plate.”
Dickinson defeated West Des Moines (Iowa) 3-1 on Friday afternoon in an elimination game at the Central Plains Regional Tournament on Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark.
“We did a great job in all facets of the game,” Dickinson head coach Cory Hansen said. “We were hoping to redeem ourselves from Thursday.”
Dickinson (16-28), the host team, needed a solid performance on the mound, spectacular defensive plays, coupled with clutch hitting if it wanted to stay alive in a tournament where there the host typically bows out after two losses — and it all came together.
Sean Kelly grabbed the win, throwing five innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out two. Kelly didn’t allow a walk in the first five innings but walked the first two batters of the sixth.
“I was comfortable on the mound,” Kelly said. “I left knowing that this could be my last Legion game ever. I just tried to leave it all on field.”
Aaron Berg pitched the final four innings in relief and got Dickinson out of a first-and-second jam in the sixth.
“That was a clutch inning getting out of that jam,” Hansen said. “It’s a tough situation. We figured they were going to bunt. They didn’t and we lucked out.”
Luke Herauf made two a key heads-up plays to keep runners on second and third during the sixth inning. Taylor Kraenzel and Brett Braunagel each supplied diving catches in the outfield.
The Roughriders also implemented some trickery with a fake-throw to second base during the seventh inning. Dickinson infielders pretended the ball went to the outfield and the runner took off for third. But Berg still had the ball and Herauf swiped the tag on Anthony Bianchi for the final out of the inning.
“We had one error, but it was really early so didn’t hurt us,” Skabo said. “We played spectacular defense.”
The Roughriders’ clutch hitting came from Skabo, who was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored. Cole Anderson had a hit and a run and Mason Schiff had a RBI. Taylor Kraenzel and Luke Herauf each supplied hits.
However, the Roughriders could have padded the lead even more after leaving 10 runners on base and grounding into double-plays to end three innings.
“That’s what’s tough at this level. There’s a lot of good pitching,” Hansen said. “Guys can get out of jams like that and force you to get hard ground balls to end innings.”
Braunagel was a terror on the base paths, collecting a stolen base and three errors on one play to score all the way from first base in the second inning.
West Des Moines had a tough time on the diamond, allowing four errors, five walks and three hit batters. The offense could only muster six hits against Kelly and Berg.
“We couldn’t throw strikes and hit the ball, so that doesn’t make for a good outing,” West Des Moines head coach Paul Erickson said. “Every team here is good, but when you are in these situations you have to throw strikes and hit the ball.”
Grant Otte was charged with the loss after allowing two runs in five innings. Jake Reinhardt threw a perfect ninth inning, while striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Otte had the lone RBI in the second inning for West Des Moines, which ended its season —most of which took place in the spring since Iowa’s high school season is played in the summer — at 15-2. Anthony Denkinger came in to score on the play.
Dickinson faces Papillion (Neb.) Pinnacle Bank at 1 p.m. `rday in an elimination game.
“This win was huge for us,” Skabo said. “This is going to boost our confidence a lot. We’re hoping to come out tomorrow and get another big win.”
Dickinson 010 100 010 — 3 6 1
WDM 010 000 000 — 1 6 4
Sean Kelly, Aaron Berg (6) and Brady Dutchak. Joe Erickson, Grant Otte (4), Jake Reinhardt (9) and Jake DeBondt, Anthony Bianchi.
W–Kelly. L–Otte. HR–None.
Highlights: D, Dylan Skabo 2-for-4, RBI, run; Taylor Kraenzel 1-for-3; Luke Herauf 1-for-2; Cole Anderson 1-for-3, run; Mason Schiff 1-for-4, RBI; Brett Braunagel run. WDM, Nick Bernabe 1-for-1; Nick Navin 1-for-3; Anthony Denkinger 1-for-4, run; Rob Harvey 1-for-3; Grant Otte RBI; Bianchi 1-for-2; Bobby LeWarne 1-for-1.