Dickinson Volunteers roughed up by defending champ Wahpeton in Legion A opener
Wahpeton's Nolan Wamre twice came to the plate with the bases loaded against Dickinson. The first time, in the third inning, he bounced into a fielder's choice with the out at home. The second time, the next inning, he atoned for coming up empty....
Wahpeton’s Nolan Wamre twice came to the plate with the bases loaded against Dickinson.
The first time, in the third inning, he bounced into a fielder’s choice with the out at home. The second time, the next inning, he atoned for coming up empty.
Wamre’s bases-clearing triple to the gap in left center was the key hit in Wahpeton’s eventual 14-3 win in five innings over the host team in the North Dakota Class A American Legion state baseball tournament at Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field.
“It’s been a struggle year - been off and on,” Wamre said. “That helped my confidence for this tournament.”
Dickinson, the No. 4 seed from the West, will take on Devils Lake at 1 p.m. Thursday in a loser-out game. Wahpeton advances to face Beulah in the winner’s bracket.
“We knew coming in it was a young team we’re playing,” Wahpeton head coach Kelly McNary said, “and we’ve got some young teams out east, and they know how to field, they know how to pitch and they know how to put the bat on the ball, so we got to come out and hit the baseball or we’re not going to do well. For us to put 13 hits on the board today, and the number of runs, and string the hits the way we did, it was a fun performance for us.”
Wahpeton, the East Region’s No. 1 seed and the two-time defending champion of this tournament, struck early, with five runs in the bottom of the second and built a 7-0 advantage by the end of three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Dickinson loaded the bases with no outs and got an RBI single from Cody Maier and a bases loaded walk from Justin Berger to make it 7-2. Dickinson could have had more in the inning, but after Austin Haider flew out to right field, Joey Pavek was called out at the plate after a throw from the outfield.
The Volunteers added a third run on a single from Peter Pavek before the inning ended.
“The way they battled back,” Volunteers head coach Joe Binstock said, “that’s the team I know we can be. That’s how every inning should be for us. I’m very happy they battled in that inning. To see them put up that three runs, I felt very confident.”
In the bottom of the frame, though, Wahpeton loaded the bases with one out and went ahead 9-3 after an RBI from Carl Bjugstad and a wild pitch that allowed Nate Beyer to score.
Wamre’s triple put the game even more out of reach and well on its way to a run-rule victory. Runs batted in by Beau Gilles and Kyle Bjugstad completed the scoring. Gilles finished 3 for 4 with five RBI thanks to a pair of two-run singles and a one-run single.
Bjugstad got the win for Wahpeton after allowing just the three runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Dickinson starter Dawson Dutchak pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up 13 runs on 11 hits with no walks and no strikeouts.
“Going up against a team that’s bigger, that’s been around this type of ball, I’m sure these guys have been playing together for four or five years,” Binstock said. “I don’t think we were mentally prepared for it. Coming into it, kids were excited to be here, but they have to be ready to play.
“Wahpeton’s a good-hitting team. Maybe I kept Dawson in too long, that’s on me … but I know they’ll battle back from it, and they’ll learn from it.”
Tristen Brunk had two hits and scored a run for Dickinson.
Wahpeton 14, Dickinson 3
D 000 30 - 3 7 1
W 052 7X - 14 13 0
Dawson Dutchak, Logan Hoff and Morgan Wardner. Carl Bjugstad, Christopher Thiel and Kyle Bjugstad.
W–C. Bjugstad. L–Dutchak. HR–None.
Highlights: D, Tristen Brunk 2 for 2, run; Cody Maier 1 for 3, run, RBI; Peter Pavek 1 for 2, RBI. W, Beau Gilles 3 for 4, 5 RBI, Nolan Wamre 2 for 2, 3B, 3 RBI.