The Badlands Big Sticks second game of the season came down the wire just like the first game of the year did on Friday night against Souris Valley.
However, Saturday’s game did not end in the same result and in Badlands favor as a big eighth inning helped tie the series giving the Sabre Dogs a 7-5 win. Each team’s record now sits at 1-1.
The Big Sticks will now look to win the series on Sunday before travelling to Minot to start a new series on Monday.
“We have to pitch it (tomorrow night.) I said that from day one and I will stand by it,” Big Sticks head coach Billy Tomblin said. “To get to the championship and win it you have to pitch the ball well and I think we will come out tomorrow and we will give a good effort on the bump and hopefully it will result in a win.”
The Sabre Dogs loaded the bases in the seventh frame and left them stranded, but an inning later, they had an even better chance to go ahead as the score was tied at 5-5. After two singles, and with 0 outs shortstop Wyatt Setian recorded his third error in two nights with a throw wide of first baseman Conner VanCleave making the bases full.
Souris Valley’s second baseman Justin Cooper knocked in right fielder Cal Villareal and kept the bases loaded, and then center fielder Allen Grier drove in designated hitter Aaron Galvin with a sacrifice fly making the score 7-5.
The Big Sticks fell behind right out the gates as Souris Valley led 1-0 after one inning and 2-0 after three.
Badlands fifth inning allowed the contest to have late game dramatics as they plated four runs and tied the contest after Souris Valley went up 5-1 after scoring three runs in the top half of the frame.
VanCleave connected with a big single to start the inning moving Mason Schwellenbach over to third base and scoring left fielder Gunnar Garpestad and second baseman Marcus Hughes.
Designated hitter Cody Maier drove in runs for the second night in a row with a single scoring VanCleave and Schwellenbach to tie the game.
“Cody has stepped up in some big moments for us,” Tomblin said. “He has done a nice job. It comes down to competing at the plate and he has done that.”
Parker Stohr got the start on the mound and the Big Sticks used five pitchers with Geo Camfield getting the loss.
Third baseman Gaylan Young, Setian, VanCleave, Maier and Hughes all recorded one hit and those were the Big Sticks only five hits in the loss.
Young recorded a RBI in the fourth inning along with the two aforementioned runs driven in by VanCleave and Maier.