Big Sticks drop series against Western Nebraska, fall to half-game behind division leaders

Spearfish Sasquatch move to Great Plains division leaders as the Sticks see late season fall at home

Big Sticks lose 9-3 in final home series against Western Nebraska Pioneers on Sunday, July 24.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Hits were hard to come by for the Badlands Big Sticks who were limited to four in the game as the final result brought a 9-3 defeat.

The Big Sticks lost the five-game series with their third straight loss against Western Nebraska Pioneers on Sunday at home in a game where they never took the lead and scored in only one inning.

The runs scored were contributed by local favorites and Dickinson State baseball players, Kobe Krenz and Cade Ostenson's RBI's, going one and two respectively, in the bottom of the second inning after the Pioneers had already established a strong 3-0 lead.

It would not be enough.

Bats sizzled early, but cooled after four 1-2-3 innings saw the team spent much of their time on the field in defense.


“I think we got good swings off, I just don't think we were ready to hit as much as we should be,” Cam Johnson, Badland Big Sticks head coach, said. “We did not execute our plan when we had a plan in order.”

Starter Justin Butz would take the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs in a 95 pitch count five innings. Casten Reed got the nod as relief to finish the sixth inning, but would be taken off the mound in the seventh after a double would lead to a run. Two more pitchers would come on for the final two innings, each allowing at least a hit and seeing the pitching rotation allow 12 hits.

“It is just how it falls sometimes,” Johnson said. “They made good pitches, they just got to execute better at two strikes. We got a ton of guys down to two strike counts, we couldn't finish off at bat… They are a really good team and they got really good hitters so the more extra chances you give them that is what is going to happen.”

Big Sticks outfielder wiffs on a blooper to right field, exasperating an already difficult game that saw the Sticks drop their division standing lead.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
Campbell spent his first four seasons with the Minnesota Twins and went 17-5 with 20 saves and 3.01 ERA in 167 2/3 innings of relief in 1976.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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