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Big Sticks put on a show, earn walk-off win over Pierre

Gabe Knowles only had one hit in the Badlands Big Sticks home opener versus Pierre, but it was the most important one of the game. Working through a windy eight and a half innings, the teams entered the bottom of the ninth tied at six. Pierre dug...

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The Badlands Big Sticks celebrate their walk-off victory over Pierre on Friday, June 1 at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Gabe Knowles only had one hit in the Badlands Big Sticks home opener versus Pierre, but it was the most important one of the game.

Working through a windy eight and a half innings, the teams entered the bottom of the ninth tied at six.

Pierre dug itself into a hole by loading the bases with an allowed double, an intentional walk and a walk.

Trappers infielder Jack Stamper pulled a rare double play sequence by tagging third for the first and throwing home for the second.

With runners on first and second and two outs, it seemed as if Pierre could get out of the rut. Two pitches later, Knowles scored Olson with a hit, ending the game and granting the Big Sticks there first ever home win on Friday, June 1 at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.

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"I couldn't ask for a better one honestly," Big Sticks pitcher Dakota Weindel said of the first home win. "They came out, scored first but we battled back and won. That's one of the best ways to win a game."

While Knowles got the glory in the end, shortstop Wyatt Setian played a major role in setting up the win.

In the bottom of the sixth with the game tied at four, Setian efficiently made his way around the bases to score the go-ahead run. He got on base with a first-pitch double. He used his speed tagging up at third after a flyout to center. He sat patiently at the bag while the Trappers dismissed teammate Drew Staley, but the second a wild pitch got by batter Eli Jung, Setian took off for home. Along with going 2-for-4 from the plate with three runs scored and an RBI, Setian made key plays at short throughout the night.

"He's a game changer," Badlands head coach Hayden Pewitt said. "Every night you come out, Wyatt's going to give us something. Whether it be a play at short, running the bases, hitting a double, whatever it may be, Wyatt's going to make the play."

Setian had the opportunity to add to his evening accolades when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth, but the double play from Stamper prevented that.

"That's a baseball player making a baseball play right there," Pierre head coach Tanner Neale said. "A lot of kids would just panic and throw home to get the force out, but he got two birds there with one stone there."

Weindel earned the win after relieving starting pitcher Roman Oliu in the seventh. Backer allowed the Trappers to go up 4-0, helped by a two-run blast. Although he too allowed a two-run home run off the bat of Pierre designated hitter Cal Smith, Weindel stayed focused, striking out three over his three innings on the bump.

"Weindel really stepped up," Pewitt said. "He's battled through a lot in his life and his career. We can trust him to go out there and do whatever and give us whatever we need."

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Home runs haven't been typical for the Trappers, as the two on Friday doubled their total on the season.

"We got some pop. Obviously the wind helped tonight and kind of a short park, but we got some guys who can swing the bat," Neale said. "It didn't really surprise me. It's pop I knew that they had, we just hadn't seen it yet."

While no Big Stick hitter sent one over the fence, both Ben Thoma and Drew Staley put up three hits.

Pierre returns to face the Big Sticks at Astoria Field on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5:35 p.m.

Badlands Big Sticks 7, Pierre Trappers 6

PT 004 000 020 - 6 9 2

BBS 000 401 011 - 7 11 2

PT: Tyler McDonald (6), Connor Burgess (2.2) and Spencer Sarringar. BBS: Karson Backer (6), Dakota Weindel (3) and Brayden Olson.

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W-Weindel. L-Burgess. HR-PT: Jack Waletich, Cal Smith.

Highlights: PT: Smith 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R; Waletich 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R; McDonald 6 IP, 6 H, 10K, 1 BB, 5 R (2 ER). BBS: Weindel 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 2 R (2 ER), W; Drew Staley 3-4, RBI; Ben Thoma 3-5, 2B, R; Wyatt Setian 2-4, 2B, RBI, 3 R, BB.

Related Topics: COLLEGE BASEBALL
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