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Big Sticks get back on track vs. Trappers

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Tyler Frank tosses a pitch to the mound in the Big Sticks win over Pierre on Modnay, July 6 at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

After two lackluster nights at the plate in a row, the Big Sticks took care of the Pierre Trappers blasting them 9-2 for a victory on Monday night.

The Big Sticks totaled 13 hits in the win and improved their record to 6-4 vs. the Expedition League north division foe.

First baseman Conner VanCleave and designated hitter Clayton Hale both went yard in the win and Badlands torched the Trappers from the very beginning of the contest.

The two were the hot bats at the plate all night as VanCleave went 3-4 and drove in two runs, while Hale went 2-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.

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Conner VanCleave high fives Big Sticks head coach Billy Tomblin after smashing a home run against the Pierre Trappers on July, 6 at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

“I was dialing in on my approach again. You go from the Sabre Dogs who are power pitchers and the upper 80’s and the Moo to these guys who were sitting in the upper 70’s or lower 80’s. That is just as dangerous…,” Hale said. “When you get out like we have not scored many runs lately, maybe you start to lose sight of the goal, and that is to win games. If you sit back in the box and you own it and stick to the approach you want and need then good things will happen.”

To start the game, right fielder Mason Schwellenbach roped a double scoring shortstop Wyatt Setian, and shortly after VanCleave drove in Hale.

Second baseman Braden Cordes extended the lead in the bottom of the second when he knocked home third baseman Gaylan Young with a sacrifice fly.

The Trappers threatened to make the contest close in the third with two runs, but Badlands responded as VanCleave hammered his long shot to drive in himself and Setian giving the Big Sticks a 5-2 lead.

Big Sticks head coach Billy Tomblin wanted his club to be more patient and selective at the plate, and that approach led to a barrage of runs tonight.

Dickinson native and left fielder Eli Jung crossed home plate in the fourth frame thanks to a single by Cordes, and Hale gave Badlands defense two more insurance runs to make the score 8-2 when he knocked home Cordes and center fielder Carson Lundmark.

The final run of the game came when Hale drove a ball out of the yard in the sixth.

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Cordes also had multiple RBI with two, while Schwellenbach and Lundmark had two hits in the win.

On the mound, Matt Gabbert struck out three and went three innings.

Tyler Frank relieved him, throwing five innings of scoreless ball.

“Any time you are on a pitch count limit and you have days off, when you can conserve arms that is a benefit. For Tyler to come in and do what he did tonight, I can’t say enough about him. That is a big time job.”

Pierre: 002 000 000 250
Badlands: 212 301 00x 9(13)0
W— Tyler Frank L— Dominick Parkhurst
BBS: Braden Cordes 1-4, R, 2RBI. Carson Lundmark 2-5, R, Wyatt Setian 1-3, 2R, BB. Clayton Hale 2-3, 3RBI, 2R, BB. Mason Schwellenbach 2-4, RBI. Conner VanCleave 3-4, 2RBI, R, BB. Mac McCrosky BB. Logan Williams 0-1. Cody Maier 0-1. Gaylan Young 0-1, BB. Eli Jung 1-2, 2BB, R. Nick Wimmers 1-4.

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