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Hit parade on display: Dickinson scored 9 runs in the first inning to breeze over Mandan

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson senior first baseman Taylor Thiel rips a RBI single during the first inning against Mandan during a West Region conference game at the Southside Municipal Ballpark. The Midgets scored nine runs in the first innings en route to a 12-5 win.

James Kary joked about his team's solid batting practice before Saturday's game against Mandan.

The Dickinson High baseball team's bats weren't joking on Saturday at the Southside Municipal Ballpark.

The Midgets plated nine runs in the first inning en route to a 12-5 West Region win against Mandan. The Braves came back to win the nonconference game 9-1, which included an Aaron Janz two-run home run.

"The focus for the team has just been getting better and better," Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. "We had one the best batting practice rounds we had ever had in terms of hitting the ball well. It went from batting practice to the field."

All nine batters for Dickinson (13-9, 8-3 West) reached base in the first inning. The lone Midget not to reach on a base hit was Brett Schweitzer, who eventually got a hit in the sixth inning, giving all nine batters at least one base hit.

"We got ahead right away, which gave us a lot of leeway and gave us the momentum," Schiff said. "We just kept gaining momentum from there and we did what we wanted to do."

Dickinson's Taylor Thiel drew first blood with two-RBI double that scored Korey Kallenbach and Dylan Skabo.

Kary and Thiel switched places on the next at-bat on a RBI double. Schiff followed up with a RBI single, driving in pinch-runner Taylor Kraenzel during the next at-bat.

"Right now we are hitting pretty well and that game showed it," Schiff said. "We've been working really hard in practice and we are trying everything we can to improve our game."

Brett Braunagel, who won three events in the track meet on Friday evening in Glendive, Mont., drove in Schiff on a single. Braunagel finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

The day just didn't start out right for Mandan's starting pitcher Zach Scott. He allowed nine runs on eight hits without recording an out.

Dwight Mack came on in relief for the Braves (11-13, 8-4 West) and threw six innings and allowing three runs.

"I thought Dwight stepped up," Mandan assistant coach Mark Andresen said. "He's a senior and hasn't thrown a lot of appearances on the hill and he came in a tough situation."

Thiel added another RBI in the first inning in his second at-bat, while Kallenbach and Brady Dutchak each drove in runs the first inning that wrapped up the Midgets 9-0 punch.

Kary, on the other hand, didn't have much trouble on the mound improving to 4-1 on the season by throwing six innings and allowing four runs. The right-hander from Beach was rocking and firing strikes. Kary's main goal was to get his defense off the field as soon as possible.

"The weather is a little warm today and don't want to keep our players out in the sun all day," Kary said. "We got work fast and let them get the ground balls."

The Midgets and Braves traded runs in the second inning, but in the fifth inning Mandan attempted to make a comeback.

Mandan pocketed three runs in the inning after a double, an error by Jon Wanner, a walk and an error by Thiel.

Kary managed to limit the damage and said those innings are going to transpire.

"That's going to happen," Kary said. "I just have to concentrate is the big thing. Come back with a strike on the next pitch."

Wanner came in to close out the game for Kary and threw the final inning, allowing one run on one hit.

The Midgets have now rattled off three straight conference wins and are in a dog fight with Bismarck Century for the lead in the West Region. With Century's loss to Minot, Dickinson now leads the West by half a game.

"We just have to take each game at a time and not look too far ahead," Schiff said. "We just have focus each inning and we'll keep building momentum."

In the second game, Mandan scored in every inning expect for the third and Janz blasted a two-run homer.

Janz went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Logan McDowell added two hits and two RBIs.

Brett Schweitzer was charged with the loss and after throwing 19 pitches in the first inning of game one, Scott grabbed the win.

The Midgets continue their season hosting West Region opponent Williston at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mandan 010 030 1 -- 5 5 3

Dickinson 911 001 x -- 12 15 2

Zach Scott, Dwight Mack (1) and Brady Zittleman. James Kary, Jon Wanner (7) and Brady Dutchak. W-Kary (4-1). L-Scott. HR-None.

Highlights: M, McDowell 2-for-3; Mack 0-for-4, RBI; Keaton Wanner RBI; Janz RBI. D, Taylor Thiel 2-for-4, 2RBI 2 2B; James Kary 2-for-4, 2RBI 2B; Alex Huschka 2-for-4; Brett Braunagel 3-for-4, 2RBI, 2 runs.

Mandan 230 22 -- 9 10 0

Dickinson 010 00 -- 1 3 2

Scott, Aaron Janz (4) and Trevor Leingang. Schweitzer, Mitch Meier (3), Mark Erickson (4) and Tanner Pasone. W-Scott. L-Schweitzer. HR-Janz.

Highlights: M, Mack 1-for-2, RBI, Janz 2-for-3, 4 RBI; McDowell 2-for-4 2 RBI. D, Huschka 1-for-3; Skabo RBI; Jon Wanner 1-for-3; Erickson 1-for-1, HBP.

Records: M 11-13, 8-4. D 13-9, 8-3