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Midgets hold off Jamestown for 3rd

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson junior pitcher Luke Herauf throws against Jamestown on Saturday afternoon during the West Region Tournament state-qualifying game at Southside Municipal Ballpark and Astoria Field.

With the postseason on the line, the Dickinson High baseball team was facing a ton of pressure.

But the top-seeded Midgets kept their composure, played loose and knocked off No. 6 seed Jamestown 3-1 for the final spot in the Class A State Tournament on Saturday during a state-qualifier game at the West Region Tournament at Astoria Field at Southside Municipal Ballpark.

Although Dickinson played a balanced game overall — scoring three runs on five hits with just one error — junior starting pitcher Luke Herauf’s complete game performance on the mound was the highlight of the afternoon. Herauf allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts.

“I was feeling good going in, my arm felt good. I hadn’t pitched in like two weeks and we did fine,” Herauf said. “Pitching defense is a big thing. We were hitting right at people but got some runs and got the win.

“Me and (catcher) Mark (Erickson) we were mixing up pitches real well and kind of got them off and they really had to start guessing.”

Herauf started the game off by retiring the side and had five 1-2-3 innings. The Blue Jays’ lone run came in the fourth, which started with Landon Weiser getting hit by pitch.

Tyler Ukestad hit a double past second baseman Brett Schweitzer to score Weiser and cut the deficit to 2-1.

After allowing two hits and the run, Herauf settled down and allowed no hits and didn’t let another batter reach base.

“He’s a gamer. He’s always going to go out and pitch his best, and I think as the game went along he actually got stronger,” said Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz, who was named West Region coach of the year. “I just had a little visit out on the mound, not necessarily for him but just to tell the defense what we wanted to do with those guys on base, and then from then on he just handled things by himself.”

Dickinson struck first in the second inning as Erickson hit a RBI double to left field to bring in designated hitter Tanner Hopfauf. An inning later, shortstop Dylan Skabo was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on an error by catcher Joey Gebhardt. Skabo again moved bases on a wild pitch but was tagged at home after Michael McChesney flew out to left field.

Erickson went 1 for 3 with a RBI while Hopfauf was 1 for 3 with a run. Erickson and McChesney each contributed a RBI.

Holding a 2-1 lead, Mitch Mehrer was able to give the Midgets some breathing room. In the bottom of the sixth, Mehrer had a pinch hit sacrifice fly to right field and Dylan Wallner came in for the security run.

After falling to No. 4 seed Bismarck Century 6-0 on Wednesday, Dickinson was more in its element on Saturday.

“We played loose and had a pretty good season,” Skabo said. “We just came in with the mentality to play good, play loose. Yesterday we were a little tight and we know that’s not going to work for us. We came in with a mentality we had to play loose.”

With the win, the Midgets clinched the No. 3 seed in the state tournament, which begins Thursday in Mandan at Veteran’s Memorial Ballpark.

Dickinson had seen success in the regular season and was on a 13-game win streak before Friday’s loss.

“We’re not going to change anything,” Dobitz said. “We’re going to do the same thing we’ve done all year in practice. We’re going to do that same thing we’ve done in games. … It’s a little bit of a mystery when it comes to who you’re playing. But if you play your game, you should be alright. You shouldn’t have to change your game to win.”

Jamestown 000 100 0 — 1 4 2

Dickinson 011 001 0 — 3 5 1

Jamestown, Brian Wenzel and Joey Gebhardt. Dickinson, Luke Herauf and Mark Erickson.

W–Herauf. L–Wenzel. HR–none.

Highlights: Jamestown, Tyler Ukestad 1 for 3, RBI; Landon Weiser run; Nathan Soulis 1 for 2; Tanner Lunzman 1 for 2, 2B; Nick Fuchs 0 for 2, sacrifice fly. Dickinson, Dylan Wallner 1 for 2, run, walk; Tanner Hopfauf 1 for 3, run; Dylan Skabo 0 for 3, run, HBP; Mike McChesney 0 for 2, RBI, walk, sacrifice fly; Mitch Mehrer RBI; Luke Herauf 1 for 3, Cole Anderson 1 for 3.


Demons 3, Patriots 0

Coming into the West Region Tournament, Bismarck High had three goals: win two games before they lost two, to improve upon its No. 3 seed and to win the championship.

The Demons successfully accomplished all their goals by defeating No. 4 seed Bismarck Century 3-0 in the championship game on Saturday at Astoria Field at Southside Municipal Ballpark.

“The way that these guys progressed, and progressed up to what I know they’re capable, it feels right and it feels like they went out and nothing was given to them,” Bismarck head coach Jim Patton said. “They earned it and I’m proud of them.”

Bismarck’s bats heated up in the fourth inning and started to make Patriots starter Cyril Nagurski and his team work.

Kole Bauer was hit by a pitch and Bauer stole second base on the next at bat. Catcher Quinn Irey followed that with a RBI double to right field for the 1-0 lead. Right fielder Ty Oakland then hit a single up the middle to drive home Irey.

Bauer threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout with three walks and eight strikeouts. Tre Kautzman was 2 for 2 and scored the Demons’ final run.

Second baseman Tanner Wolf, designated hitter Luke Leingang and shortstop Mason Przybilla each had a hit for the Patriots. Nagurski lasted four innings with two runs on three hits and three strikeouts.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.