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DSU baseball settles for split after game one walk-off

Though Dickinson State had shown signs of a pulse throughout the game, there was never an inning in the first eight frames that suggested the Blue Hawks would make a serious run at a tie or a lead.

Dickinson State's Jalen Lane throws a pitch Saturday evening at Astoria Field against Viterbo. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State's Jalen Lane throws a pitch Saturday evening at Astoria Field against Viterbo. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

Though Dickinson State had shown signs of a pulse throughout the game, there was never an inning in the first eight frames that suggested the Blue Hawks would make a serious run at a tie or a lead.

They were down 7-0 after two Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at Astoria Field against Viterbo, methodically chipping away until the ninth, which they entered trailing 9-6.

Then Jacob Cuch led off the final shot with a home run, and goodness, did things start to get interesting.

Chad Mackay and Trevor Oldham followed up the solo shot with two straight singles, prompting a perfect sac bunt by Ryan Absher to make it second and third, down 9-7, with one out.

The comeback stalled when TJ McCullough bounced into a harmless out at first base, making it two outs with Nate Demarais coming to the plate, and it looked even more gloomy when he watched the first two pitches zip by for strikes.

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But after a few foul balls, he lined up a perfect piece of contact, a sharp grounder up the middle that brought the final Blue Hawk to home plate, ending the game at 10-9 in dramatic walk-off fashion.

Demarais entered the game hitting right around .200 with only 12 RBI on the year, so that hit, under those circumstances, which momentarily extended DSU's winning streak to three, was a little more special.

"Honestly, I was a little bit nervous, but I just tried to stay focused, tried my best to hit it up the middle," he said. "That worked out pretty well. It's a really good feeling, just something you can't really explain."

Unfortunately for head coach Jason Watson and his Blue Hawks, the theatrics were disbanded in the second game, a lackluster effort in which DSU (20-24, 10-12 NSAA) fell 5-1, mustering only four hits compared to 18 in their first game.

"Give their pitcher credit, he pounded the zone, carved us up in the second game," Watson said of Viterbo's Max Verdegan, who tossed a complete game with one run on four strikeouts, four hits and 99 pitches. "It baffles me, we go from 18 hits to four. You're not going to win any game with four hits."

In the first game, starting pitcher Konnor Goettsche lasted only two-thirds of an inning, walking five and letting up five, all earned.

Luckily for DSU, Jon Koessl was able to come in in relief and do an admirable job, going the next 6.1 innings and allowing four runs to the V-Hawks (11-33, 9-13 NSAA).

That job of damage control by Koessl allowed DSU to start chipping away, getting two in the third, two in the fifth, two in the seventh, one in the eighth, and, of course, those three all-important runs in the ninth.

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Joey Buchanan pitched the final two innings for the Blue Hawks, throwing two scoreless and picking up the win.

Micquel Robinson had three hits in the leadoff spot, scoring twice. Cuch added four hits and 3 RBI, and Mackey had three.

The second game, a seven inning affair, lasted only 1:45, and didn't have much worth noting. The Blue Hawks were shut down on offense, and Jalen Lane, starting for DSU, ate up innings valiantly but surrendered his five runs over six frames-three in the third and two in the fifth.

The Blue Hawks scored first in the first inning, but strung together only two hits the rest of the way.

The first win, though, for DSU, came on the cusp of a much-needed two-game sweep of Winnipeg last weekend.

The times were good. At least for a little while.

"We were down 7-0 in the second inning and we were able to fight back. We had some good at-bats," said Watson. "Fighting back, I know we can do it. I'd like to get up and stay up, beat a team by five, but we got the win, they fought back. They did what they needed to do."

Dickinson State 10, Viterbo 9

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VU 520 001 100 - 9 12 2

DSU 002 020 213 - 10 18 0

DSU: Konnor Goettsche (.2), Jon Koessl (6.1), Joey Buchanan (2.). VU: John Costello (6.0), Ryan Boelk (1.0), D.J. Raasch (.2), Austin Stibbe (1.0).

W-Buchanan. L-Stibbe. HR-DSU: Jacob Cuch. VU: Ethan Bell, Mannie De La Rosa.

Viterbo 5, Dickinson State 1

VU 003 020 0 - 5 9 0

DSU 100 000 0 - 1 4 1

DSU: Jalen Lane (6.0), Brock Messmer (1.0). VU: Max Verdegan (7.0).

W-Verdegan. L-Lane. HR-Mannie De La Rosa.

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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