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Roughriders nab a pair of wins from Keybirds

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Roughrders pitcher Kendall Jones throws to a batter during game two of a doubleheader against the Williston Keybirds on Wednesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.

Before Wednesday’s game, Dickinson Roughriders head coach Cory Hansen made a slight adjustment to Andrew Heckaman’s swing.

The adjustment worked over and over.

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Heckaman went a combined 4 for 7 with three doubles five RBI as Dickinson swept Williston during an American Legion nonconference doubleheader on Wednesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.

“He took (the adjustment) to heart and he attacked down on the ball,” Hansen said. “He did a fantastic job and he had a great day.”

Though he held a batting average of .300 in the first 25 games of the season, Heckaman felt he has been seeing the ball better.

“Lately, I’ve just been seeing the ball well at the plate,” Heckaman said. “It has been getting better for me all year and now it has started to take off.”

Dickinson has been searching for more players to contribute offensively, because of suspensions. Due to suspensions because of violating team rules, Dickinson is down to 10 eligible players each game.

The Roughriders head coach Cory Hansen has been moving players around the diamond.

“It’s going to be difficult at first, but we are hoping we can make it more comfortable as we get some more games in and by state it will be a little more natural,” he said. “We put kids in all positions at practice in case something like this happens. Some just don’t have as many reps in certain positions.”

Though the Roughriders have three players which are going to be sophomores — Tanner Ouellette, Lucas Jones and Kendall Jones — at Dickinson High and Dickinson Trinity, respectively, have helped the Roughriders play through suspensions.

Kendall Jones pitched for the Roughriders in the nightcap win on the mound. He went seven shutout innings, allowed two hits and struck out four. The left-handed pitcher didn’t fret after a 25-pitch first inning.

“My pitches were working pretty good and I was getting hitters out front a lot,” Jones said. “My defense made players for most of the game.”

Dickinson struck for three runs in the second inning. The inning began with a Dylan Wallner single. Heckaman hit a RBI double to left-center field. Three batters later, Skabo ripped a two-run single to left field.

The Roughriders tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the fourth inning. Lucas Jones hit a RBI sacrifice fly to deep center, while Alex Huschka had a RBI single to right center. Heckaman drove in final runs on a two-run double in the sixth inning.

“The Legion A pitchers are faster pitchers, but that just means if you connect with the ball it is going to go a lot farther,” Heckaman said. “Once you get a hang of it, it just takes off.”

In the opening game, Dickinson’s Dylan Skabo went the distance to pick up an opening win.

Skabo threw seven innings, allowed one unearned run and struck out five — in the final two batters to end the game. The right-handed pitcher also helped out his own cause by going 1 for 2 and scored two runs.

The Roughriders put up two crooked numbers in the second and fourth innings. Dickinson scored two runs in the second and three in the fourth.

Heckaman went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Ouellette also went 1 for 2 and two runs. Kendall Jones collected two base on balls and scored a run.

Brett Schweitzer drove in the final run of the game with a RBI single in the sixth inning.

The Roughriders continue their homestand with doubleheader against Grand Forks at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

“It’s nice to finish at home, because it our field and we know it well,” Heckaman said. “We have the fans backing us up and we have the home-field advantage.”

Williston 100 000 0 — 1 3 1

Dickinson 020 301 x — 6 6 0

Seth Falcon, Jaron Falcon (5) and Ty Berg. Dylan Skabo and Andrew Heckaman.

W–Skabo. L–S. Falcon. HR–None.

Highlights: W, Bradey Miller 1 for 3, RBI; Ty Berg 1 for 3; Matt Kohler 1 for 3; Trenton Hove run. D, Heckaman 2 for 3, 2 RBI, run; Brett Schweitzer 1 for 2, RBI; Skabo 1 for 2, 2 runs; Tanner Ouellette 1 for 2, 2 runs; Alex Huschka 1 for 4.

Williston 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

Dickinson 030 022 x — 7 0 3

Thad Thompson, Drew Barseth and Lane Huck. Kendall Jones and Cole Anderson.

W–Jones. L–Thompson. HR–None.

Highlights: W, Jake Stevens 1 for 3; Bryan Lancager 1 for 3; Ty Berg 1 for 3. D, Andrew Heckaman 2 for 4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, run; Dylan Skabo 1 for 2, 2 RBI, run; Lucas Jones 1 for 1, RBI; Alex Huschka 1 for 4, RBI; Dylan Wallner 1 for 1 3 BB, run.