Rain drops started to fall right before the seventh inning stretch and though the Badlands Big Sticks found themselves in the hole 1-4, they weren’t ready to call it a night.
The second game in the three game series against the Clark division team Fremont Moo started June 19 at 4:05 pm. The Big Sticks hoped to pull a second consecutive win against their opponents , which proved to be an uphill battle. The home side were down the entirety of the game, until the final inning with the results of 6-5.
The Moo went to work in the first inning, driving in three runs from a single and a two-run homer by EJ Taylor. All of this before the first putout. The home team had Pat Miner on the mound for six full innings before they went to the bullpen. Miner faced 28 batters, striking out four of them, but allowed four errors and four runs.
The late start did not faze head coach Billy Tomblin and his staff, with the amount of confidence they have seen in their players in recent games.
“I think we didn't really show up to the park on time today but we showed up when it mattered the most,“ Tomblin said. “ When you are not playing well you have to find a way to win and they did that.”
The Dickinson team made a dent in Fremont's lead, grabbing a single run before the second inning. The run was completed when the Moo pitcher Trent Sellers walked the sixth batter with bases loaded allowing Joe Osborn a free pass to home. Seller would be subbed out beginning of the second inning with two hits and two walks.
Both team’s defense would settle in with no runs, quick putouts and limited hitters in the second and third. Fremont allowed only one hit in the second, stranding the runner. The Big Sticks did have one field error in the second and a hit in the third, but would come up with a double play in each of the two innings.
“It's just a good job by our middle infielders and our corners,” Tomblin said. “They get some big time plays and big moments and they did a nice job of that. It helps out a lot.”
In the fourth, Miner would collect two of his strikeouts, but would throw out a wild pitch that would lead to a run for Brock Reller.
The next three innings would be fruitless for the offensive sides, but in the eighth would bring excitement and a late rally.
Fremont Moo grabbed their final run of the game from a sacrifice fly ball bringing out number three.
The Big Sticks fell further down the hill and though the challenge was greater than before they also recognized that the climb to the top would be that much sweeter.
The Badlands team went for glory with a late rally. The bases were loaded when Matt Olive hit a single RBI to bring in Carson Lundmark. Jess Bellows would grab an RBI before Fremont goes to the bullpen to bring in Austin Baskin for Jackson Kraus. Kraus completed seven strikeouts in seven innings. Jackson would put an end to the eighth with a double play.
With no additional runs in the top of the ninth, the Moo had to rely on their defense to secure their two-run lead, but they would quickly fall apart. The lead hitter took first on a hit by pitch, Osborn advanced to first followed by a fielder's choice and he was probably relieved not to be the one getting hit, leading the team on hits by pitches.
With only one out, Lundmark singled to load the bases. Travis Ray Jr. steps in the batter’s box for the first time in the game, ready to clean up. He singled a line drive to take Osborn home before an error by the shortstop that allowed Derek Gellos and Lundmark to run home and turn the game upside down.
The series will finish Sunday afternoon at 4:35 p.m.
The dream stays alive for the Big Sticks to sweep the series and the second consecutive win against the Moo, is an accomplishment they haven’t toppled since 2019.
“We are going to keep showing up everyday, we are going to keep getting better everyday and hope for the best,” Tomblin said. “These kids are doing a really good job right now and we are happy with how they are going about their business.