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Big Sticks route Tommyknockers in easy win

The Big Sticks came ready to compete in their game against the Tommyknockers on Monday, securing the easy win and remain in the number two slot of the Expedition League's Lewis Division.

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Joe Osborn is ecstatic as he crosses the home plate from Derek Gellos three-run double. Up to bat Angel De La Cruz celebrate with him. (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

The Tommyknockers rolled into town tied for second in the division with the Big Sticks, and would leave in third. The victory would not come without a potential cost for the Big Sticks, as Chewy Sanders would need assistance walking off the field late in the game with an unknown injury.

The tie breaking series began in Dickinson with all eyes on the Mining City Tommyknockers' powerful high powered offense. The game would begin with both teams tied for second place in the Lewis Division of the Expedition League. The teams are scheduled to faceoff seven times on the season, with the first four at home for the Big Sticks.

The home side entered the game having found consistency over a three game winning streak culminating in their defeat of Wheat City at home, 9-7.

The momentum seems to have carried over as they took game one in a 5-1 blowout win over the Tommyknockers.

With Josh Tucker on the mound plenty of strikeouts were issued to the away side, shutting them out until the fourth inning where Mining city would at last get their first and only run of the night. Relief pitcher Mason Hoover was awarded the save after taking the mound at the top of the sixth. Hoover would also take the Dickinson Eagles Club player of the game with eight strikeouts, no hits and one walk — all in four innings.

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Starter Josh Tucker delivers five strikeouts within five innings. Tucker has a ERA of 2.91 (Josiah C. Cuellar/The Dickinson Press)

The Big Sticks went straight into making hits in eager fashion, securing early runs before Angel De La Cruz would be left stranded on the hot corner after Carson Lundmark was caught stealing second for the final out of the inning.

“He saw a ball in the dirt and took a jump, but the catcher did a nice job at getting it out of the dirt and throwing him out,” head coach Billy Tomblin said of the pickoff.

The Big Sticks were unfazed, however, returning to the field and scoring another run in the second from an Anthony Garrett single RBI that brought Eric Martinez across the plate.

The third inning would feature shutout defenses as neither team would secure a hit. On the mound, Tucker would strike out two as he accumulated four K's in the early innings. The Tommyknockers would get on the scoreboard in the fourth from an RBI double, providing a chance to rally that would not come to fruition as the Big Sticks would secure a clutch hit at the bottom to maintain the lead.

Derek Gellos slammed a three-run double to left center that brought home Osborn, Garret and Alex Thurston — putting the game out of reach for the Tommyknockers.

The win comes as a birthday gift for Casten Reed who turned 20 on the night.

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Game two of the series will take place at Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T) Ballpark at 6:05 p.m. MST, in Dickinson. Fans and players can expected unusually hot temperatures as the game is projected to be played during a triple digit heat wave scorching western North Dakota.

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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