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Doubling up wins: Midgets use back-to-back error-free games to sweep St. Mary’s

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson senior Brett Schweitzer, left, connects with single during the fourth inning of a West Region game against Bismarck St. Mary’s on Tuesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field. Dickinson junior Alex Bast, back, is taking a practice swing before his at-bat. Schweitzer and Bast led off the inning with back-to-back singles.

Less than two weeks ago, the Dickinson High baseball team outscored Bismarck St. Mary’s 33-2.

But the Midgets weren’t expecting anything to be simple with the Saints.

“We heard they put up a fight against Minot (on Monday), so we knew they weren’t going to be easy,” Dickinson senior first baseman Cole Anderson said. “We weren’t overthinking it or anything. We were taking it serious.”

Dickinson not only scratched across runs, but didn’t give St. Mary’s any extra opportunities with two error-free games en route to a 4-1 and 6-1 sweep on Tuesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.

“That’s one of the areas the coaching staff and the players have been focusing on is cleaning up the defense,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. “It was nice to see to that our hard work is paying off in the game. We picked it up and played good defense (on Tuesday), but I told the boys if we can continue to play games clean on the defensive side teams are going to have a tough time beating us.”

Saints head coach Reid Flaagan said the first doubleheader the two teams played on April 25 was easily their worst games of the season.

The Saints didn’t back down the second time around and put up a fight from the start.

“We talked about trying to weather the storm, because no matter what happens they are going to make some aggressive plays, they are going make good plays, get hits, but we just have to keep playing,” Flaagan said.

The Midgets (12-4, 5-3 West Region) received a solid pitching performance from starter Mitchell Mehrer and reliever Alex Bast. The two combined to throw seven innings, allowed one run on four hits and struck out five.

Dickinson sophomore Michael McChesney drove in the first run during the first inning on a RBI single. Dylan Skabo, who led off the inning with a walk and stolen second, scored on the RBI single.

The Midgets scored another run in the fourth inning and tacked on two insurance runs during the fifth.

Dickinson’s Brett Schweitzer scored the team’s second run was safe after Tanner Hopfauf reached on a shortstop throwing error.

Anderson drove in McChesney on a RBI single in the fifth. Luke Herauf scored the team’s final run on a balk from Saints starting pitcher Ben Aberle. The St. Mary’s starter went six innings, allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out two.

“We definitely had some good opportunity hits with people on base,” Anderson said. “We only had eight hits, but we could have a lot more. We were crushing the ball. We were just hitting them right at people.”

The Saints started to string hits together in the sixth inning, but the threat ended after Dickinson catcher Mark Erickson held his ground after a collision at home to tag out Aberle. The Saints starting pitcher was ejected for running into the catcher after the play. Aberle drove in Thomas Barry for the lone run on a RBI single to left-center field.

During the second game, the Midgets continued to score runs and their pitching to put up zeroes.

Spencer Murphy collected with the win for Dickinson. He went four innings, allowed one run, one hit and struck out two. Lucas Jones threw the final inning and struck out two.

Tanner Hopfauf came through with a RBI double in the third inning. He also supplied a pair of RBI sacrifice flyouts.

The Midgets continue their season traveling to Jamestown at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. Dobitz hopes the team can get on a roll and stay clean without allowing errors.

“We are going to have to stay consistent especially on the defensive side,” Dobitz said. “I was happy with two solid games with no errors. Teams that clean it up and play good defense are the ones that are going to be successful.”

SM 000 001 0 — 1 0 0

Dickinson 100 120 0 — 4 0 0

Ben Aberle, Zach Zenker (6) and Tyler Famous. Mitchell Mehrer, Alex Bast (5) and Mark Erickson, Andrew Heckaman (7).

W–Mehrer. L–Aberle. HR–None.

Highlights: SM, Aberle 1 for 3, RBI; Thomas Barry 2 for 3, 2B, run; Nick Winbauer 1 for 4. D, Cole Anderson 2 for 4, RBI, 2 SB; Mike McChesney 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, run, 2 SB; Brett Schweitzer 1 for 4, run; Alex Bast 1 for 2, SB; Joe Mayer 1 for 3, SB; Herauf run; Skabo run, SB.

SM 001 00 — 1 2 1

Dickinson 102 3x — 6 5 0

Zach Zenker, Dillon Reiner (3), Alex Johnson (4), Nick Winbauer (4). Spencer Murphy, Lucas Jones (5) and Andrew Heckaman.

W–Murphy. L–Zenker. HR–None.

Highlights: SM, Jack Nathe 1 for 1, run; Thomas Barry 1 for 2, 2B. D, Tanner Hopfauf 1 for 2, 2B, 3 RBI; Dylan Wallner RBI; Luke Herauf 1 for 1; Michael McChesney two runs; Mitchell Mehrer 1 for 1; Dylan Skabo 2 for 3, run; Murphy RBI; Brett Schweitzer RBI.