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Big Sticks meet hot bats against Pierre

With Pierre holding a 3-2 lead over Badlands after three innings, the fourth game between the two teams looked like it would be similar to the others: close until the very end.

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Pierre leadoff batter Teddy Petersen hit a ball over the fence to being play in Sunday's game against the Badlands Big Sticks at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark, which was eventually postponed. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

With Pierre holding a 3-2 lead over Badlands after three innings, the fourth game between the two teams looked like it would be similar to the others: close until the very end.

However, the early lead, extended by a seven spot in the ninth inning, gave the Trappers a 15-2 victory in the Big Sticks' most lopsided defeat of the season on Saturday, June 9 at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.

"They jumped on us early ... and we never responded," Big Sticks head coach Hayden Pewitt said. "The bats never came alive, we were kind of dead. It was just one of those days where they found holes and then hit a jack and we didn't find any holes and didn't hit any jacks."

The Trappers turned a tie game into a 3-1 lead in the top of the third with back-to-back home runs from Zane Phelps and Landon Badger.

Cole Johnson put one over the fence to score two runs in the eighth and a blast from Niko Piazza scored two more for Pierre in the ninth inning.

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While Astoria Field is on the smaller side of the Expedition League ballparks, four homeruns is still a lot to allow in a single game. The Pierre batters clearly figured out the Badlands pitchers.

Joe Smith started on the mound for the Big Sticks, lasting three innings before Chasen "Chi Chi" Roulhac stepped in.

Roulhac allowed seven hits and three runs over four innings. Dakota Weindel, Karson Backer and Ben Thoma combined for the final two innings. Smith threw the only strikeout from the Badlands bullpen.

"We kind of ran out of pitching there," Pewitt said. "We brought in position players because we didn't want to waste a guy for (Sunday)."

Meanwhile, right-hander Connor McDonald controlled the game from the bump for Pierre.

He lasted eight innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out five and walking two.

"When he threw against us last time, we were really successful against him," Pewitt recalled. "I think he found his curveball a little bit, he worked down in the zone all night. Hats off to him."

While pitching struggled, so did the Badlands bats. Auggie Francis, Gabe Knowles and Eli Jung had two hits a piece, but had little help finding their way across home plate.

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After the loss the previous day, the Big Sticks (11-4) wanted nothing more than to start strong and defeat the Trappers on Sunday. Pierre (7-8) on the other hand, wanted the sweep.

Things went in Pierre's favor.

Leadoff batter Teddy Petersen sent the second pitch from Big Sticks starter Matt Graser over the left field fence to get the Trappers on the board.

Four batters later, Phelps sent one over deep center to score two more runs.

The thunderous Trappers start brought lightning, and with that, a game delay turned suspension. The game will be made up later in the season in Pierre as a double header on a previously scheduled game day.

The Big Sticks have Monday off after playing 13 days in a row at four different locations.

"There's a few guys that'll throw and the rest of them, they won't touch a baseball," Pewitt said.

Results Saturday

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Pierre Trappers 15, Badlands Big Sticks 2

PT 012 030 027 - 15 19 1

BBS 101 000 000 - 2 9 1

Connor McDonald (8) Alex Sheetz (1) and Jack Simonsen. Joe Smith (3), Chasen Roulhac (4), Dakota Weindel (1.1), Karson Backer, Ben Thoma (0.2) and Brayden Olson.

W-McDonald. L-Smith. HR-PT, Cole Johnson, Zane Phelps, Landon Badger, Niko Piazza.

Highlights: PT, T Petersen 4-5, 2 R, 1 RBI; Phelps 4-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI; McDonald 8 IP, 9 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K. Auggie Francis 2-3, 2 R, Gabe Knowles 2-5; Eli Jung 2-4, 2B; Wyatt Setian 1-4; Drew Staley 1-4; Smith 3 IP, 6 H 3 R(3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K; Roulhac 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB.

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Big Sticks batter Auggie Francis gets a base hit in action against Pierre at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

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