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Roughriders clinch state's top spot in split

By The Press Staff

FARGO -- The Dickinson Roughriders will, again, go into the state seeding tournament with the No. 1 seed.

Stephen Laylock labored through seven innings of work and Cole Frenzel hit two home runs to secure a 5-4 victory over Fargo Post 2 on Friday.

The win means the Roughriders (28-6 overall, 16-2 state) have clinched the outright regular-season title for the second straight year and will go into state seeding tournament Thursday in Minot as the top seed.

"(Clinching) always takes a little pressure off," Dickinson coach Andy Emard said.

The Roughriders couldn't outslug Post 2 in the nightcap, falling 14-6 for the split.

Losing the second game wasn't exactly heartbreaking since the Riders accomplished their main goal -- capturing the state's regular-season title and No. 1 seed.

Frenzel finished 3-for-4 in the first game and hit his 20th and 21st home runs of the season in just 34 games played.

"It's pretty impressive what he's doing," Emard said. "It's been fun to watch."

Dickinson scored two runs in the top of the first, but Laylock gave up two in the bottom half.

They added three more over the next six innings and weren't challenged until Fargo mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs. However, Laylock picked up his third strikeout to end the game. He scattered 10 hits and walked one.

"He did what he had to do to win the game," Emard said.

In the second game, Fargo led 7-0 when Dickinson mounted a comeback with a six-run fourth inning.

The Roughriders looked to be getting back into the game, but couldn't hold down Fargo's hitters. Post 2 came back with seven more runs in the next two innings while keeping Dickinson scoreless the rest of the way.

Though he didn't allow a hit, Fargo starter Zach Noriega ran into control problems and was relieved in the third inning by Matt Wawers, who earned the win on the hill. He surrendered just one run in 3Zc innings, giving up four hits. Post 2 leadoff man Justin Fahy proved unstoppable at the plate, going 5-for-5 with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Dickinson starter Michael Steve lasted just two innings and took the loss. Frenzel and Caleb Burgard each had two-RBI singles.

The Roughriders host Williston in a doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.

Dickinson 5, Fargo 2

Dickinson 210 100 1 -- 5 7 1

Fargo 200 000 2 -- 4 10 2

Stephen Laylock and Michael Steve. Kyle Kingsley, Jake Nystrom (7) and Mike Jones. W--Laylock. L--Kingsley. HR--D, Cole Frenzel 2 (21).

Highlights: D, Frenzel 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs; Ben Herauf 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2B; Tommy Peters 1-for-2. F, Jones 2-for-2; David Ernst 2-for-3.

Fargo 14, Dickinson 6

Dickinson 000 600 0 -- 6 4 1

Fargo 403 340 x -- 14 13 3

Michael Steve, Tommy Peters (3) and Connor McNeilly. Zach Noriega, Matt Wawers (4) and Andy Schweigert. W--Wawers. L--Steve. HR--F, Zach Braaten.

Highlights: D, Frenzel 1-for-2, 2 HB, 2 RBI; Caleb Burgard 1-for-2, 2 BB, run, 2 RBI; Steve 1-for-3, 2B, BB, run, RBI; Tyler Steffan 1-for-4. F, Justin Fahy 5-for-5, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; Braaten 2-for-3, 4 RBI, walk, 2 runs; Mike Jones 2-for-3, 2 runs, walk.

Records: Dickinson 16-2 state, 28-6 overall. Fargo 14-6, 30-14.