Big Sticks keep the Knockers at bay

Big Sticks work to hold their lead over the Tommyknockers in game two of the series.

Angel De La Cruz knocks a single to bring in a runner from third base to tie the game. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Angel De La Cruz has quite the flair for big hits when playing at home in the Dakota Community Bank and Trust ballpark.

Fans of the Big Sticks have come to expect nothing less from the young Brooklyn Bomber, and De La Cruz’s monster hit in the fourth would again prove to be one of the critical moments of the game. The smashing single brought home Joe Osborn and gave the Sticks the boost they needed to rally past the Tommyknockers on Tuesday night in a thrilling clinch of game two of the five game series against Mining City — extending their winning streak to four in a 3-2 victory.

The Big Sticks players came out of the dugout with intensive focus and quickly set to the task of gaining the early lead and hopeful victory, but would find their opponents equal to the task.

It was scoreless going into the bottom of the third as both sides had their aces on the mound and a defense ready to back them up.


Top of the eighth, Michael Reddick keeps his composure for the putout to close the inning and leave a runner stranded on third. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Michael Reddick, with 27 strikeouts for the season, tallied 11 K’s for the Big Sticks and was the winning pitcher. Jeremy Husband would hold the mound for five innings, garnering five strikeouts while giving up six hits — three in the third alone, that would lead to the home team’s first run.

In the bottom of the third, Big Sticks’ Derek Gellos would score on a Carson Lundmark single. All hopes were that the Sticks would begin an insurmountable rally, but those hopes would be dashed however when Matt Olive would strike out swinging to retire the side.

Up-to-bat Matt Olive calls Derek Gellos safe as he slides pass home plate. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Big Sticks would lead through three 1-0.

Both teams' defense would deliver a three up, three down frame in the fourth, before the Tommyknockers would claim their own initial run with an RBI single to tie the game in the top of the fifth.

The tie would not last more than half an inning, as Big Sticks’ Osborn would add pressure with a left-centered single before stealing second base to put a runner in scoring position at the bottom. Osborn would later round third and cross home on De La Cruz’s single.


With the lead growing, the Tommyknockers coach would make the walk to the mound where after a short conversation with his pitcher would call for the bullpen.

Jason Kramlich would take to the rubber in hopes of slowing down a rallying Big Sticks side, but in a moment of redemption Big Sticks’ Olive would take Kramlich’s very first pitch for a single that would later come back to haunt Kramlich. The Big Sticks would grab another RBI single, this time coming from Anthony Garrett to seal the win in the sixth.

The Big Sticks would lead through six, 3-1

Every run from the game came on singles, with the only doubles coming from the Tommyknockers’ Mike Decker and Nick Hasen with three on the night. The pair’s hot bats would lead to the only runs for Mining City.

Reddick would be relieved by Casten Reed in the final inning to close out the game and to tally the save with two strikeouts.

Casten Reed close out the game striking out the final batter on a swing. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

The Big Sticks cemented their second place standing in the Lewis division, and will take to the field again tonight, Wednesday, July, 28 at the Astoria Field.

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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