Landon Aman stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fifth in a moment that the young athlete will likely remember for years to come. With bases loaded and two outs, the team's hopes rested squarely on his shoulders with the lead there for the taking.
In the first four innings between West Fargo and Dickinson in the Class A state quarterfinals, neither team could get anything going offensively with the score tied at 0-0.
The Packers had only two hits, while the Midgets couldn’t make contact at the plate — remaining hitless.
That was when, in the bottom of the fifth Dickinson would get their first hit of the game, would loaded the bases and after a couple of walks see Aman take to the batters box with the chance to put his side on the board with the lead.
He did exactly that.
A crushing ball deep left would garner a three-run double and a 3-0 lead for the Midgets. By the final out of the match, Aman's three RBIs would prove enough for a 3-2 victory in Mandan.
“I was telling the dugout the (West Fargo pitcher) was throwing hard. All you need to do is get a barrel on the bat, he’ll supply the power and it’ll go places,” head coach Pete Dobitz said. “Right before they went to the mound I told Landon ‘just put a barrel on it’ and it worked out."
Aman’s double was the only offensive highlight for Dickinson, as they struggled to make contact in the batter’s box.
Packers' pitcher Brayden Jacobsen was pitching a fine game before the fifth, throwing four scoreless and striking out seven. He did issue five walks, but Dobitz thought his guys may have been too timid at the plate.
“It was almost too patient,” Dobitz said. “And then you get yourself into a hole and then you’re chasing a pitch. We’ll have to do a better job tomorrow and be more aggressive.”
It was another game where the Midget’s run total outnumbered their hits. Nathaniel Jilek had the other hit for Dickinson.
Keeping the West Fargo offense from having more success than the Midgets was Isaac Daley on the mound. Despite some early troubles, Daley tossed five scoreless innings with five strikeouts.
“He’s bending but he’s not breaking,” Dobitz said. “That’s one thing I’ll say about him all year. He’s battling through it and it was another good outing for him. It was also great to see Nick Deschamp out there, he’s struggled with his shoulder and came in and gave us two solid innings.”
The best chance for the Packers to pile on runs came in the opening when Daley walked two batters and hit another with two outs. However, he settled in after that and struck out the next batter to escape the inning unscathed.
West Fargo tried to comeback with a couple of late runs in the sixth and seventh innings and had the tying run on second base, but a lineout to center field ended the game and put Dickinson through to the semifinal round.
They will take on Shanley tomorrow, the east region's No.1 seed, who defeated Bismarck Century in their opening game 2-0. The game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. CST.