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Zafra, Minot handle Midgets

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson sophomore Michael McChesney, back right, tries to tag out Minot’s Wesley Johnson, left, during a West Region game on Tuesday at the Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.

Tuesday might have been Demitry Zafra’s first start of the season, but the Minot right-handed senior was in midseason form.

Zafra pitched six no-hit innings and helped Minot defeat Dickinson 6-2 in a West Region game at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field. The Midgets responded with a 6-4 win over the Magicians during the nonconference game.

“He had that fastball going for him and we haven’t seen anybody that good this year,” said Dickinson senior shortstop Dylan Skabo, who finished 1 for 3 with a RBI in the opening game. “That fastball was on today.

“It was good to see their ace right away, because we’ll probably see him down the road. It was good for us to see a pitcher of high quality this early in the season.”

The no-hitter was snapped in the seventh inning when Brett Schweitzer ripped a single to left field.

Zafra threw 6 1/3 innings, allowed one hit and two runs and struck out three. Chandler Jacob struck out two to close out the game.

“He had a very good outing, especially with this being his first start of the season,” Minot head coach Pete Stenberg said. “He was up a little bit in pitch count. He jumped ahead in 17 of 20 batters that he faced. It was a great job on his part.”

The Magicians took long to give their starting pitcher a little breathing room. Minot scored a pair of runs in the first inning and four more runs in the second.

Minot’s big hit in the second inning came on a two-run base hit from Alex Mack. The junior center fielder later came around to score on a Kolton Larson RBI groundout.

However, after the second inning the Magicians couldn’t string together many hits due to a solid relief effort from Dickinson junior Luke Herauf. The right-handed pitcher pitched five scoreless innings, allowed one hit and struck out five. Alex Bast was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs in two innings.

“I was real happy with (Luke),” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. “He’s going to get his starts as the year goes along too. He just had to be in the relief role today. I was happy with our effort as a team.”

Dickinson’s first run came in the sixth inning when Joe Mayer scored on a Zafra wild pitch. Skabo drove in the Midgets’ other run on an infield single in the seventh.

“We just had to take one at bat at a time and we tried to get deep into counts,” Skabo said. “That’s what helped us get runners on base.”

In the second game, the Midgets (4-2, 1-2 West Region) jumped out to a five-run lead after the first two innings.

Mayer had the Midgets’ two hits in the game. He also scored and drove in a run. Dylan Wallner, a senior left-handed pitcher, picked up the win going 3 1/3 innings for Dickinson.

Andrew Heckaman closed out the final 1 2/3 innings. All four of Minot’s runs in the second game were unearned. The Midgets committed six errors in the final two innings.

The Midgets continue their season traveling to Bismarck St. Mary’s at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“It’s always been my motto as a head coach and I want to instill it into the boys’ head that it isn’t about winning right now,” Dobitz said. “It’s about making those steps to become better at the end of the year.”

Minot 240 000 0 — 6 5 2

Dickinson 000 001 1 — 2 2 0

Demitry Zafra, Chandler Jacob (2) and Kolton Larson. Alex Bast, Luke Herauf (3) and Mark Erickson.

W–Zafra. L–Bast. HR–None.

Highlights: M, Jacob 3 for 4, 2 runs; Alex Mack 1 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Larson RBI. D, Dylan Skabo 1 for 3, RBI; Brett Schweitzer 1 for 3, run; Joe Mayer BB, SB, run.

Minot 000 40 — 4 1 2

Dickinson 320 10 — 6 2 6

Brady Lampert, Alec Rice, Ben Bolinske and Braden Lach. Dylan Wallner, Andrew Heckaman (4) and Heckaman and Mark Erickson (4).

W–Wallner. L–Lampert. Sv–Heckaman. HR–None.

Highlights: M, Wesley Johnson hit. D, Joe Mayer 2 hits, RBI, run.