PIERRE, S.D. - The Badlands Big Sticks wasted no time establishing a lead in the season opener against Pierre Trappers on Friday, May 24, using a home run from right fielder Mason Schwellenbach to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The strong start was enough to hold off the Trappers in a 6-3 win from Hyde Stadium.
Big Sticks pitching struggled, though. Starter Malik Barrington walked nine people through his 4 ⅔ innings of work, loading the bases in the first, second and fourth. He cracked down, using six strikeouts to get out of the jams.
The Trappers were able to deal some damage while Barrington threw balls, tying the game at two in the bottom of the second.
Badlands plated two more runs in the third, as third baseman Garett Dupuis singled to score Schwellenbach and Bryson Ford.
In the fifth, Big Sticks reliever Brock Rountree delivered a wild pitch that allowed the Pierre baserunners to move to second and third. Three pitches later, a passed ball brought Jonathan Boulaphinh home, cutting the lead to 5-3.
Badlands reliever Joe Torres came in and shut down any Pierre efforts, though. He gave up a pair of lead-off hits, but struck out five to keep the Trappers off the board.
Following a cushion run in the seventh, the Big Sticks couldn’t get anything else going against lefthander Colin Smith, who fanned five people over the final two frames.
Schwellenbach led all players, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.