The Badlands Big Sticks hosted the Pierre Trappers for the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.
The first three innings took 90 minutes.
When the final out was recorded, the clock read 10:20 p.m., and Pierre lead 17-16 to earn the win on June 11, at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.
"We're still operating on Central Time, so it's 11:30 in my head," Pierre head coach Tanner Neale said. "That's a good, old-fashioned slugfest right there."
The marathon game took nearly four hours to complete, and it came down to the final inning to decide it.
Going into the ninth, Badlands led 16-15, needing just three outs to seal the victory.
Pitcher Nick Jennings gave up a lead-off single to center fielder Jonathan Boulaphinh before his infield turned two consecutive outs.
Second baseman Nick Altermatt, who had gone 2-for-5 up to that point, took the game into his own hands. After watching two balls go by, he connected on the next pitch, burying it over the left-field wall for a two-run, go-ahead home run.
Badlands second baseman Ryan Walstad walked and third baseman Garrett Dupuis was beaned to open the bottom of the frame, giving the Big Sticks a chance to at least tie the game, but three straight outs ended the lengthy contest.
The Big Sticks scored 11 of their runs in the first three frames, with their first zero on the scoreboard appearing in the bottom of the fourth. With Andrew Brooks pitching, Badlands catcher Brayden Olson and designated hitter Gabe Knowles were both retired by way of a 6-3 putout. After first baseman Jaret Humphrey walked, shortstop Anthony Tulimero went down swinging.
"I thought we were all right. I thought they brought in some better arms," Big Sticks head coach Hayden Pewitt said. "When you put up 16, or however many, you need to win the game."
Easy outs were rare Tuesday evening. Pierre and Badlands combined to utilize nine arms, with just Brooks tossing more than 2 ⅔ innings.
Over four innings, the Trappers right-hander changed the narrative of the game. The Big Sticks scored 11 runs in the first three innings, plating just one through the rest of the game.
Brooks was lights out in the sixth as well, fanning both Olson and Knowles before Humphrey grounded out on the first pitch.
"He came in and he was a showstopper when we needed him," Neale said. "His two-pitch mix of a fastball and a slider was some pretty good depth. He threw a different look at these guys they hadn't seen in the previous (two) guys. So, he's gonna mix speeds. His slider has so much depth, it's tough to lock in."
With Tiger Cox on the mound, the Big Sticks surged in the eighth. Outfielder Kaimana Souza Paaluhi singled and Dupuis was hit by a pitch. Two outs later, Knowles walked, loading the bases and bringing in Trappers pitcher Billy Moreland to close out the frame.
Humphrey was hit by an 0-2 pitch, pushing a run in. Tulimero came up clutch, slamming a bases-clearing double into the right-center gap. He tried to stretch the base hit into a triple, but was easily tagged at third to end the frame.
The teams will see each other again Wednesday and Thursday.
Pierre Trappers 17, Badlands Big Sticks 16
PTR 214 322 012 - 17 22 3
BBS 434 010 040 - 16 17 0
PTR, Jerson Morales (1.2), Joseph Brazil (1.1), Andrew Brooks (4), Tiger Cox (0.2), Billy Moreland (1.1) and Alex Gonzales. Tyler Chipman (2.1), Gabe Lizarraga (1), Conner VanCleave (2.2), Nick Jennings (3.2) and Brayden Olson.
W-Moreland. L-Jennings. HR-BBS, Ryan Walstad. PTR, Max Modeste (2), Nick Altermatt.
Highlights: PTR, Billy Moreland 4-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), BB, 1 K; Brooks 4 IP, 3 H, R (ER), 1 BB, 5 K. BBS, Walstad 3-4, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI; Kaimana Souza Paaluhi 4-6, 2 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI; Jennings 3.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 K.