Midgets 18-game win streak snapped in WDA final
The top two seeds met in the WDA championship game as Dickinson and Legacy squared off for the third time this season.
The Midgets rolled into this matchup winning their last 18 games, looking to capture a WDA tournament championship for the first time since 2017.
Meanwhile, Legacy were looking to win their first.
The Sabers were determined to be history makers, as they jumped out to an early lead and held strong, winning 10-3, giving the Midgets a taste of defeat for the first time since April 23.
“They’re a quality team,” Pete Dobitz, Midgets head coach said. “We beat them twice during the season but it’s hard to beat someone three times. Cru Walker threw a great game for them and Isaac Pegors came in and threw three solid innings.”
Not only did Pegors come into the game to pitch the final two innings, but his grand slam in the second inning powered a five-run inning for the Sabers that saw them take firm control of the game.
Before the home run, Dickinson starting pitcher Aiden Haich walked four batters, including one with the bases loaded to give Legacy an additional run.
Dickinson did put runners on base in the following innings, but a lack of concentration and execution saw the Midgets get picked off at second base twice with no outs.
“I don’t know if it was emotion but we were anxious on the bases and they knew that,” Dobitz said. “They’re well coached and caught us a couple of times and gave them momentum.”
A stronger comeback attempt came in the fifth inning when Dickinson put up three runs, highlighted by Isaac Daley’s two-run, two-out double to slice the deficit in half 6-3.
But Legacy answered immediately with a big insurance run in the top of the sixth inning to settle their nerves.
The Midgets believed they were still in the game and a leadoff single from Logan Bentz in the bottom of the sixth fired up the dugout.
However, Legacy quickly put any beliefs of a comeback to rest as Jadon Bast grounded into a double play to end the inning.
“We’re an emotional team and when we were emotionally down it showed a little bit,” Dobitz said. “We have to figure out how to not have that slow start and be ready.”
Both Dickinson pitchers Haich and Bast struggled to keep the Sabers off the basepaths, surrendering eight hits and dishing out eight walks combined.
The attention turns to next week’s Class A state tournament where Dickinson will be matched up against West Fargo High as the west region’s No. 2 seed. That game will take place on June 3 in Mandan.
“I told the boys it’s nice to be in this but this isn’t the trophy we want,” Dobitz said. “We needed a wake-up. We had some games where we got behind and were able to come back. Now maybe we’ll figure out we can’t start slow.”