CENTRAL PLAINS REGIONAL: Dickinson pulls another shocker, upsetting Papillion 5-1The Dickinson Roughriders’ Cinderella story continues at the Central Plains Regional Tournament.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Roughriders’ Cinderella story continues at the Central Plains Regional Tournament.
Led by Korey Kallenbach’s magnificent performance on the mound, the Roughriders claimed a 5-1 victory over Papillion (Neb.) Pinnacle Bank in the loser-out round of the American Legion baseball tournament on Saturday afternoon on Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark.
“I felt great,” Kallenbach said with a smile. “I had all my off-speed pitches working perfectly. My arm was feeling good all day and I was just so jacked to get that win.”
Confidence is at an all-time high for the Roughriders, who have a 17-28 record and were the bottom seed in the North Dakota Class A state tournament a week ago.
Dickinson head coach Cory Hansen knew the team could perform at this level — he was just waiting for it all to come together.
“The maturity is starting to come into effect now,” he said. “We’re facing good teams and we’re playing with good teams.”
Kallenbach pitched a nine-inning complete game, allowing one run on two hits and one walk. The one of three Dickinson captains needed less than 90 pitches and said he was pleased the with solid defensive play behind him. Why wouldn’t he be?
“If you can throw less than 90 pitches in a nine-inning game, you must be doing things right,” Hansen said. “Those defensive plays just fire us up. That’s what we needed and I think that gave Korey the motivation to keep going. He was just in the zone.”
Dickinson plays Eden Prairie, Minn., at 6 p.m. today. Eden Prairie, the defending region and Legion World Series champions, is the lone unbeaten team remaining in the tournament.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Kallenbach said. “We’ve been playing pretty well lately and we’re having fun.”
The big defensive plays for Dickinson came in the seventh inning when Luke Herauf laid out for Matt Safranek’s sharp groundball. Herauf back-handed the ball and made a strong throw to first to throw out Safranek. Then to end the inning, Taylor Kraenzel made a diving catch to rob Matt Gay of an extra-base, run-scoring hit.
Dickinson’s Dylan Skabo went 4-for-5 and scored two runs. But his efforts were just as valuable in the field at shortstop. The biggest beneficiary of Skabo getting on base was Mark Erickson. The catcher went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored.
“When Skabo is on base, it makes my job a lot easier,” Erickson said with a smile. “He’s one of the fastest kids in the state, I think, and just having him out there makes my job just that much easier.”
Papillion, which ended its season with a 46-11 record, scored the first run of the game in the second inning when leadoff hitter Jake Placzek drove in Matt Young on a double. That was the only run Papillion could muster against Kallenbach and the Roughriders.
“Their pitcher did a really good job of keeping us off balance and keeping the ball down,” Papillion head coach Jim Thomas said. “We just didn’t make any adjustments. He did a nice job of hitting spots and changing speeds.”
The Roughriders responded in the top of the third inning with when Erickson laid down a RBI sacrifice bunt to drive in Alex Huschka.
Erickson supplied a two-run single in the fifth that scored Cole Anderson and Skabo, who each got on via singles.
“It feels great to get those big hits,” Erickson said. “Brett (Braunagel) and I came up in two big spots. It just feels good to have a situation out there and be able to execute the proper way. It was no better time to do it.”
Dickinson finished the scoring by tacking on two insurance runs in the seventh inning. James Kary stayed patient at the plate for a bases-loaded walk. Braunagel followed with a RBI single.
“I just wanted to stay even-keel (heading into the bottom of the ninth inning),” Kallenbach said. “I didn’t want to think about the win, just go out there and do what I had been doing all game.”
Placzek led Papillion, going 2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base. Cole Baker was charged with the loss, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and three strikeouts.
“He (Baker) did fine,” Thomas said. “We have to score more runs than that, but we didn’t. We were happy with his performance and he got in a little trouble late.”
Dickinson 001 020 200 — 5 10 4
Papillion 010 000 000 — 1 4 2
Korey Kallenbach and Mark Erickson. Cole Baker, Geoffrey Birkemeier (7) and Joseph Ludemann. W–Kallenbach. L–Baker. HR–None.
Highlights: D, Dylan Skabo 4-for-5, 2 runs; Mark Erickson 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, run; Brett Braunagel 1-for-3, RBI; James Kary 1-for-3, RBI; Mason Schiff 1-for-4; Cole Anderson 1-for-4, run; Alex Hushcka run. P, Jake Placzek 2-for-4, RBI; Landen Weisbeck 1-for-4; Mitch Young 1-for-4, run.
Records: D 17-28, P 46-11