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Roughriders fall in first two games of Gopher Classic

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — After a slower-than-ideal start, the Dickinson Roughriders scored four runs against Watertown Post 17 (S.D.) over two innings to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth.

However, Post 17 put up runs against every pitcher the Roughriders offered, tacking on six in the final two frames en route to a 9-5 victory on Friday, July 13, at Bethel University.

The second game, against East Grand Forks (Minn.), was not as competitive, with the Green Wave pulling ahead early to win 18-4 in four and a half innings during the Gopher Classic Tournament.

"We started out kind of slow, energy was low, not playing very well, not throwing strikes," Dickinson head coach Stephen Greenwood said. "Then we started to turn things around in the middle there. We got a little life in us. We're hitting the ball well, doing the little things, started throwing some strikes and started playing really well."

Roughrider starting pitcher Sam England wasn't his usual self on the bump, giving up three runs on one hit while walking eight.

England made up for it in the bottom of the third inning, driving in Joey Pavek and Colton Jones with a base knock, putting the Roughriders within one.

After Kobe Krenz took over on the mound, throwing a zero in the fourth, the Dickinson offense kept at it.

Krenz singled to score Landon Aman to tie the game, and Isaac Gjerde scored the go-ahead run off a ground out by Jones.

Jones took over for Krenz after a run scored with two runners on in the sixth. Two more scored before the Roughriders (6-18) ended the inning, down 7-4.

"I brought Colton Jones in to get us out of some trouble. He did a great job there," Greenwood said. "He gave us a chance. He's my best bullet in the most crucial time of the game, I thought. We gave ourselves a chance to win, we just didn't get it done."

Jones lasted an inning, allowing two runs on one hit. He also walked two batters.

Two more Watertown runs came in during the seventh, bringing the deficit to five runs.

A pop out from Krenz scored Nathaniel Jilek in the bottom of the inning, but Dickinson wouldn't get any closer.

Dickinson started game two with more energy, putting up a run. Jaren Berger's at-bat began with Pavek on second, but two steals and six pitches later, Berger drove him in to score on a ground ball to second.

"We had some energy, Joey Pavek started on the mound. He got the first two guys out, looking great. The third guy got on and after that we had an error by our shortstop with two outs. It was a simple routine ball, but they ended up putting up eight runs with two outs and nobody on. ... I'm disappointed that we didn't stop the bleeding. We hung our heads a little too early."

Dickinson scored again in the second, this time Pavek did the swinging to score Logan Hoff.

East Grand Forks answered with two more in the bottom of the second, then notched eight more in the fourth to end the game early.

"I'm really kind of disappointed with that game. I wasn't disappointed by the first one as much because I felt like we were competitive," Greenwood said. "We did let it get away from us, but that's going to happen with a young team, not knowing how to finish a game still."

On Saturday, the Roughriders face Osseo, Minn. at 8 a.m. central time, their only matchup of the day.

"Get some sleep, get them up early, get a good meal in there and hopefully outplay the other team who has to get up just as early," Greenwood said.

Watertown (S.D.) 9, Dickinson Roughriders 5

W 030 004 2 — 9 3 1

D 002 200 1 — 5 9 3

Sam England (3), Kobe Krenz (2), Colton Jones (1), Landon Aman (1) and Tristen Brunk. Tucker Bayles (4.1), Nathan Gonnelly (2.2) and Ben DeVille.

W—Gonnelly. L—Krenz. HR—None.

Highlights: D, Joey Pavek 2-4, 1 R; Justin Berger 2-4; Jaren Hugelen 1-3, 2B; Tristen Brunk 1-2; Nick Deschamp 1-2; Krenz 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 IP, 3 R, 1 K, 2 BB; England 1-3, 2 RBI, 3 IP, 1 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 K, 8 BB; Jones 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB; Aman 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 K, 1 BB. W, Blake Holden 1-2, 1 R, 1 RBI; Bayles 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 K, 5 BB.

East Grand Forks (Minn.) 18, Dickinson Roughriders 4 (Five innings)

D 110 02X X — 4 7 2

EGF 820 80X X — 18 14 1

Victor Saucedo (5) and Cooper Holm. Pavek (0.2), Aman (0.2), Peyton Hanson (1.2), Logan Hoff (1) and Tristen Brunk and Sam England.

W—Saucedo. L—Pavek. HR—D, England.

Highlights: EGF, Jake Hjelle 3-4, 1 R, 4 RBI; Saucedo 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 5 K, 3 BB. D, Pavek 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R (0 ER), 4 BB; England 2-2, 2B, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI; Brunk 1-2; Krenz 1-1; Aman 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 K, 1 BB; Hanson 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 K, 2 BB; Hoff 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 K.