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Dickinson can't slide by: Ohlhauser, Bismarck uses 8 innings to down Midgets

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson senior Cole Anderson, front, attempts to drive past a tag from Bismarck High catcher Quinn Irey in a semifinal game during the North Dakota Class A state baseball tournament on Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Ballpark in Mandan. Bismarck used eight innings to defeat Dickinson 6-5. 1 / 2
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson freshman Lucas Jones pitches against Bismarck High in a semifinal game during the North Dakota Class A state baseball tournament on Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Ballpark in Mandan. Bismarck used eight innings to defeat Dickinson 6-5. 2 / 2

MANDAN — Dickinson’s Mark Erickson and Bismarck High’s Brandon Gieszler spent the first two innings picking mud out of their cleats on the pitching mound.

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There was steady stream of continuous rain falling on Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Ballpark in Mandan.

One player that didn’t mind the rain was Dickinson’s Cole Anderson.

The senior first baseman hammered a pair of doubles off the left-field fence.

“I just went up there, swung hard and I was just on time with it,” said Anderson, who finished 3 for 5 with three RBI. “I just happen to hit two off the wall.”

However, Anderson’s two doubles — which accounted for three runs — was spoiled as Dickinson left 14 runners on base and Bismarck edged out a 6-5 win in eight innings during the semifinal game at the North Dakota Class A state baseball tournament.

“That’s where the short coming or the glaring aspect of the game was the guys we left on base,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. “We just couldn’t get that timely hit.”

In the bottom of the eighth, the Demons (21-10) used a sacrifice fly from Kale Ohlhauser to score Seth Siverson, who was pinch ran for the Brad Hildestad. Hildestad started the inning with a double to left field.

Ohlhauser, who bats in the No. 9 spot, went 2 for 3 with two RBI and scored a run.

“My philosophy is that if you aren’t batting leadoff, I want them to be hitting in the No. 9 hole,” Bismarck head coach Jim Patton said. “Kale has been off and on throughout the season. The last two weeks he’s been hitting the ball as well as anybody. It was a blessing to have him in the No. 9 hole to drive in that game-winning run.”

Anderson said it was especially hard to watch Siverson cross home plate.

“Especially since I’m a senior, it felt a little worse, because this was my last time to win a state championship in the high school season,” Anderson said.

Dickinson freshman Lucas Jones, who pitched three innings, was tagged with the loss after he allowed one run on two hits and struck out one. Erickson went four innings allowed five runs on seven hits and struck out three. Luke Herauf, who picked up the win on Thursday, threw the final 2/3 of an inning before Ohlhauser hit a sacrifice fly to left field.

Though Gieszler only last two, Kole Bauer came in shut the door in the final six innings. Bauer picked up the win, allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck out four.

Patton said the early elements troubled Gieszler.

“The weather is what it is and it’s the same for both teams,” Patton said. “People react differently. For whatever reason, the mud bothered Brandon a little bit. I don’t think it made him any less of a pitcher or any less of a competitor. He struggled a little bit … It was all mound conditions that made me go to Bauer.

“We are blessed to have (Bauer), because he’s a bulldog. He wants to go… That game could have went 14 innings and he would have used up all of his innings.”

In the top of the first inning, Dickinson struck for a pair of runs after Anderson ripped an RBI double halfway up the left-field fence. Michael McChesney, who reached second on a double, and Luke Herauf scored on the play.

Bismarck responded with a run in the bottom of the second after Kole Bauer ripped a RBI triple to deep right-center field. With Bauer on third and one out, Erickson buckled down and struck out Quinn Irey and Ty Oakland to end the threat.

The Demons’ big inning came in the fifth inning when the team plated three runs on four hits. Ohlhauser started the inning with a leadoff double, Gieszler followed with a RBI single. Jared Spooner supplied a single and a stolen base. Bauer finished the hit spree with a two-run single.

“When you get behind early, it just means you have more time to catch up,” Patton said. “Fortunately when we did struggle on the hill or in the field, we still had five or six at bats left.”

The Midgets received base hits from Dylan Skabo, Joe Mayer, Tanner Hopfauf and McChesney.

Bismarck plays Grand Forks Central in the championship game at 6 p.m. MDT today.

Dickinson’s seven seniors look to close out their careers with a win during the third place game against Grand Forks Red River at 3:30 p.m. MDT today.

“We obviously would have liked to win this game and be playing for the championship, but that didn’t happen,” Anderson said. “The goal is to come out here, have some fun — because it is the senior’s last game — and take third place. We want to win.”

Dickinson 220 001 00 — 5 7 1

Bismarck 110 030 01 — 6 9 3

Marck Erickson, Lucas Jones (5), Luke Herauf (8) and Andrew Heckaman. Brandon Gieszler, Kole Bauer (3) and Quinn Irey.

W–Bauer. L–Jones. HR–None.

Highlights: D, Cole Anderson 3 for 5, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Dylan Skabo 1 for 3, run; Michael McChesney 1 for 4, 2B, run; Tanner Hopfauf 1 for 5, RBI; Joe Mayer 1 for 3; Luke Herauf 3 runs. B, Bauer 2 for 4, 3B, 3 RBI; Kale Ohlhauser 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, run; Jaxon Ford 1 for 3, run; Ben Hildestad 1 for 4, 2B; Jared Spooner 1 for 3, 2 runs; Gieszler 1 for 4, RBI, run.