'Better late than never': Big Sticks snatch last-minute victory against Fremont Moo

The Badlands Big Sticks walked away with a comeback win in the ninth over Fremont Moo in Friday's game of the three-game at-home series.

The Big Sticks stormed to the field as Cory Brownson got a walk-off 2 RBI single in the ninth.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — The Badlands Big Sticks took on the Eastern Nebraska Fremont Moo Friday of a three-game at-home series. The Sticks trailed behind late in the game and made a show-stopping turn around in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 win.

The ball game started off scoreless and slow with powerful defense from both teams. Freshman Cooper Dulich put the first run on the board in the third for a 1-0 Sticks lead. In the sixth, the Moo turned on the heat with a walk, a double and an earned run for a 3-1 advantage on the Sticks.

Alex Thurston racked up another point for the Sticks in the seventh after hitting a single and running the bags on an error by the shortstop.

Starting pitcher Sam Marhefke toed the rubber for seven and tallied seven K’s on the night. By the conclusion of the seventh, he had thrown 80 pitches.

Starting Pitcher Sam Marhefke threw for seven, withstanding one of his longest pitching performances all season.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press

“Our pitching was awesome,” Cam Johnson, Big Sticks head coach said. “Sam gave up two hard-hit balls all day and it cost us two runs. Fremont is a good hitting team so to hold them to that was huge. Sam’s been battling some injuries too, so to see him come out and throw for multiple innings was good for our team. He was a big contributor for us.”


Marhefke wasn’t the only Sticks player struggling with injuries. Outfielder and designated batter Carson Lundmark did not make an appearance in the game due to a non-baseball related knee injury. Derrick Calvillo, who is another regular batter for the Sticks is also recovering from a back injury. He had only one at bat in the ninth, but one was all it took for him to hit a double.

“He stepped up in a tight spot and really picked us up,” Johnson said.

Relief pitcher Daniel Rivera threw for the remaining one-and-a-half innings and allowed no runs, no walks and tallied one K for a 2.40 ERA.

The Sticks kicked off the game with a one-point lead but fell short in the sixth when Fremont added three runs to the board.
Amber I Neate / The Dickinson Press

Outfielder Cory Brownson saved the game for the Sticks in the last few seconds of the ninth with a walk-off 2 RBI single. The Sticks erupted from their dug out and raced on to the field jumping and screaming in victory. Brownson received a sticky water and Gatorade bath, for making one of the biggest, electric come backs of the season.

“They (the Moo) were pounding me away all game and that last AB, he came in on me and I just got enough of it (the ball) where it snuck out through the infield,” Brownson said. “It means a lot. This is my first collegiate walk-off in a long time.”

Johnson was overwhelmingly proud of his team for pulling together to take the win, especially with several players sick or recovering from injury.

“Cory was the man,” Johnson said. “He shows up every day and works his tail off and this was no surprise. There’s no moment too big for him. He’s pretty steady all the time, and that’s how he gets those results… Our guys were just itching to bust the score open there and it was better late than never.”

With this loss, the Fremont Moo decrease their overall season record to 21-15-0.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press
With four starters and five seniors graduated last season, the Trinity Titans boys basketball team will be left with one returning starter, All-Region selection Jake Shobe. They will be rebuilding chemistry and strength this year to plug those gaps with an inside presence to compliment him.

Amber Neate grew up in rural Skull Valley, Arizona. Her passion of covering sports of all types, including personal favorites wrestling, hockey, rodeo and football, began at an early age.

She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree from Yavapai Community College before attending Northern Arizona University for a three-year journalism program. While at NAU, Neate worked as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Lumberjack Newspaper as well as a hockey commentator for KJACK Radio.

Gaining her experience working for a small community paper, The Wickenburg Sun, as a general news and features reporter, her love for sports and a small-town community brings her to Dickinson to cover southwest North Dakota sports.

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