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Big Sticks come up short in 6-game away series in Spearfish and Canyon County

The Great Plains Division leaders move to 17-11 on the season, 2.5 games ahead of second place Canyon County Spuds, and second in the Independence League.

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The Big Sticks are half way through their six games on the road but have struggled to come out on top.
Photo by Amber I. Neate
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SPEARFISH — The Badlands Big Sticks began their six-game away series June 24 as they took on the Spearfish Sasquatch in South Dakota. The Sticks won one of three games against Spearfish and have decreased their overall record to 16-11 as they continue their next three-game road series against the Canyon County Spuds.

In game one, the Sticks clenched a tight 7-6 victory over Spearfish. They were the first to score and continued their lead through nine. Infielder Alex Urlaub and Carson Lundmark were the top two contributing scorers for the Sticks with 2 runs each. Derrick Calvillo, Cory Brownson, and Alex Thurston each tallied one.

Devyn Hernandez toed the rubber for three, pitching a rocky game. He allowed 4 runs, 3 walks, 4 earned runs and finished with a 9.82 ERA. Kobe Krenz followed him, pitching cleaner for four. He allowed half the amount of runs and earned runs as Hernandez and tallied 3K’s. Innings six through nine were scoreless. Spearfish pitcher Dylan Richey put on a fight for the Sasquatch, holding the Sticks to 0 runs, 0 walks and 2 K’s.

Fireman Logan Fragomeni concluded pitching for the Sticks. Although he threw for the shortest amount of time, he had arguably the strongest performance on the mound with 3 K’s, 0 runs and no earned runs for a 3.28 ERA.

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The Sticks pitching line up has faced ongoing obstacles on the road, giving the opponent full advantage.
Photo by Amber I. Neate

The Sticks were brutally creamed by Spearfish, 15-2 in game two and struggled to find consistency in their pitching line up. Big Sticks head coach Cam Johnson went fishing in the bull pen for a total of five times throughout the game, compared to Spearfish, who stuck with two pitchers through nine.

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The Sasquatch were immediately dominant, taking a 3-0 lead early in the first. Their lead increased steadily, 13-0 by the fifth. The Sticks were unable to put points on the board until the game was more than halfway over. Their only two runs were scored by Alex Thurston and Quade Peters in the seventh.

Sticks opening pitcher Eric Kessler pitched for 0.2 of the first and allowed 3 runs and an earned run. He was pulled out after just a few throws and freshman Garret Lundmark was plugged in to pitch for three. He gave up 5 runs and 2 earned runs early in the match up and was switched out for freshman Matt Ramstead, who also had a difficult time on the mound. In less than half of an inning, he allowed 5 runs, 5 earned runs and 2 walks for a 14.54 ERA. Fireman Casten Reed pitched for the remaining two but the battle on the mound continued. Although Reed racked up 3 K’s, he allowed 4 hits and a walk for a 9.0 ERA.

The Sasquatch offence capitalized on walks, stolen bases, wild pitches and errors. They were able to hit more accurately and consistently with 16 hits compared to the Sticks, who had 8. Spearfish starting pitcher Kenji Miller was on fire for the seven he pitched and shut the Sticks offense down with 7 K’s.

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Game one against Spearfish was a success for the Sticks, but the victory didn't last long.
Photo by Amber I. Neate

Game three against Spearfish was also bleak for the Sticks as they fell short again 14-9. Although it was a closer contest, the Sticks lost control in the second, when Spearfish took a 6-1 lead. As the Sticks have experienced early in the season, trying to recover from an early five-point deficit or greater, is a grueling, frustrating, uphill battle. Carson Lundmark and Quade Peters were key scorers throughout the night with 2 runs each.

The pitching line-up performed better than the night before but continued to be inconsistent, allowing runs to slip through their fingers. Starting pitcher Sam Marhefke gave up 6 runs and 6 earned runs in the 1.2 innings he pitched. Grayson Grifford followed pitching for four, but his throws didn’t save the day either.

Spearfish loaded bases, stole bases, advanced on doubles and hit cookies to rack up dingers, and the Sticks offense remained stagnant. Sasquatch pitcher Jackson Betancourt played a mean game, striking out Sticks batters one after the other for 8K’s through four.

The Sticks continued their road game series Monday in game one of three against the Canyon County Spuds and came up short again, 9-3. They will face the Spuds two more times before heading home for a rematch at Dakota Community Bank and Trust Ballpark July 1.

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The Sticks wrapped up their three-game away series against Spearfish Sunday and are half way finished with their road series against the Spuds.
Photo by Amber I. Neate
READ MORE BY AMBER I. NEATE
How passion for sports molded one Dickinson residents plans for the future.

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.

LANGUAGES: English
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