Big Sticks mash the Spuds in 2-0 home victory
"We like to attack the zone early,” says Jordan Price, Big Sticks pitching coach.
DICKINSON — The Badlands Big Sticks put on a grueling defensive show in a 2-0 shut-out victory against the Canyon County Spuds in game two of their three-game at-home series Wednesday.
The Big Sticks emerged from the dug out of Astoria Field with renewed energy and determination that fueled them to hold the Spuds at zero runs through nine.
In the bottom of the first, Sticks outfielder Austin Bunn hit a rocket shot that sent second baseman Carson Lundmark and third baseman Alex Urlaub speeding around the bags for a 2-point lead on Idaho. The score remained 2-0 for the entirety of the defensively dominant game.
The Sticks outfielders were consistently on point throughout the night, catching fly balls that promptly shut down any chance of movement on the bags for the Spuds. Pitcher Steve Marhefke, who hasn’t started a game in over two years for the Sticks, allowed 1 hit, 3 walks and tallied 3 K’s for three. Sophomore Kobe Krenz toed the rubber next for the Sticks and turned on the gas. One after the other Spuds batters struck out and were no match for Krenz’s perfect sinkers.
“With our pitching staff, we like to attack the zone early,” Jordan Price, Big Sticks pitching coach said. “We trust ourselves coming to the plate and challenge hitters. We like to get ahead early in the count. Getting a lot of strikes is big for us. We’ve been piecing it together. Our starter was on a pitch count, so we pulled him kind of early, but the rest of the guys just stepped up and every one of them played a huge role in this win.”
Micah Gibson was rounded up from the bull pen next to pitch for one. He allowed no runs, no walks and only one hit for Idaho. Fireman Logan Fragomeni jumped on the hill for the final three and pitched clean with 4 K’s.
“Gibson has been dealing with injuries and he hasn’t pitched in a while, so to get him out there, get his feet wet and pitch like that was great,” Cam Johnson Big Sticks head coach said. “Kobe Krenz has delt with injuries too, so to finally get these guys healthy is what we’re waiting for.”
Sticks batters Cooper Dulich and Cory Brownson were plunked by Spuds pitchers Logan Rightmyer and Nate Galusha mid-game and were wrapped with ice for the remainder of the match up.
By nights end, the Sticks and Spuds were tied with 6 hits each, but the Sticks were able to capitalize better on their hit opportunities. The Sticks finished with 3 errors and the Spuds had one.
“We took care of the baseball better, but we were still a little sloppy,” Johnson said. “Our pitching staff came together as one today, not just one single guy. We had great efforts from everyone catching and pitching and we had timely hitting.”
Johnson and Price say it was rewarding for them and the team to finish a game with 9 strait zeros.
The Sticks conclude their at-home series Thursday, June 23 in game three against the Spuds.