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Roughriders split doubleheader with Grand Forks after holiday

The Dickinson Roughriders' four-day break got a little bit longer Wednesday evening when a downpour delayed the start of the team's doubleheader against Grand Forks for 90 minutes at Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field.No matter, though, because...

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Dickinson’s Chase Ballard swings for a hit during the Roughriders’ first game against Grand Forks Wednesday at Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

The Dickinson Roughriders’ four-day break got a little bit longer Wednesday evening when a downpour delayed the start of the team’s doubleheader against Grand Forks for 90 minutes at Southside Ballpark and Astoria Field.
No matter, though, because the break just afforded the Roughriders that much more rest, and they took advantage of it, winning the first game 3-2. The Royals got revenge in the nightcap, though, winning 5-1.
Tied at two in the bottom of the fifth, Dickinson’s Eli Jung lofted a single into shallow left field, which allowed Cam Jorda to advance to third. The throw from Zach Murphy scooted away from the third baseman and out in front of home plate, where it was retrieved and bobbled by Royals catcher Noah Chine. With the pitcher no longer covering home plate, Jorda took off and scored the winning run with ease.
“With two outs, I got a pretty good read off of first base,” Jorda said. “I thought I could get to third the whole way. It was actually a pretty close play there, and I didn’t think I’d get anywhere else.”
Roughriders head coach Stephen Greenwood praised Jorda for knowing the situation and knowing where the ball was, allowing him to reach home.
“Anytime you have heads-up baserunning situations, and you end up scoring a run, it’s huge,” Greenwood said. “Especially with the way we’ve been struggling to get runners in with two outs, it was a great read, nobody covering home, he made that split decision, and it was the right one.”
The go-ahead run made a winner out of Tanner Ouellette, who pitched 5 1/3 innings while allowing just three hits and two hits (one earned). He struck out five and walked four before being relieved by Lucas Jones, who pitched the rest of the way for the save.
Ouellette’s pregame routine was thrown off a bit by the delay, but he said it didn’t affect his performance.
“It happened to me a couple weeks ago too,” he said, “but you just have to work through it and do what you have to do for the team. I didn’t warm up too much before the game because I knew it was going to rain, but at the end it felt pretty good.”
Greenwood added: “(Ouellette) didn’t have his best stuff today by any means, but I tell our pitchers to pitch with what you have that day, and he made it work, and he got us 5 1/3 innings. That’s all you can ask from him, to go give you a gutsy performance.”
The Roughriders (15-16) took an early lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on RBI hits from Jorda and Jung.
The Royals (11-12) got both runs when Brenden Bethke notched a run-scoring single in the third, and Chine brought in a run in the fourth. Chine hit a fly ball to center, and Shawn Steffan, after initially coming in on the ball, had to back up and the ball bounced out of his glove, allowing Murphy to score from second and tie the game. 

Dickinson wasn’t without chances to tack on more runs, though. The Roughriders had the bases loaded in the second and came up empty, and they had two on with one out in the fourth but couldn’t get anything across, making the Royals’ miscue in the fifth a breath of fresh air.
“Anytime you can get a pick-me-up to get it done in different ways, it’s huge,” Greenwood said.
After Ouellette allowed leadoff walks in the fifth and sixth innings, both runners tried to steal second only to be thrown out by catcher Chase Ballard.
“(Ballard) had the break to get his arm healthy, I know he had been hurting all year, and his knees have been hurting,” Ouellette said, “and he came back healthy and his arm looked great all game. Getting those runners off the bases helped me a lot.”
Ballard, Jung and Ouellette each had two hits in the game. Jorda scored twice, and Benson Kramer scored the remaining run.
The Royals salvaged a split in the series after scoring four runs in the top of the sixth inning of the second game, breaking a 1-1 tie. Grand Forks was aided by three Dickinson errors in the inning to go ahead 5-1, a margin that remained for the rest of the game.
Ouellette added two more hits in the second game, and he had the team’s only RBI. Sam England had two hits as well, while Treven Hopfauf and Ballard added single hits.
The Roughriders leave today on a 10-game road trip, which starts with five games in the next three days at the Gopher Classic in Woodbury, Minn.

Dickinson 3, Grand Forks 2
GF 001 100 0 - 2 4 1
D 200 010 X - 3 8 1
Blaise Monette and Noah Chine. Tanner Ouellette, Lucas Jones and Chase Ballard.
W–Ouellette. L–Monette. HR–None.
Highlights: GF, Brenden Bethke 1 for 3, RBI; Landon Kraft 1 for 2, run. D, Eli Jung 2 for 3, 2 RBI; Cam Jorda 1 for 3, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Chase Ballard 2 for 3; Tanner Ouellette 2 for 4; Benson Kramer run; Brock Messer 1 for 2.

Grand Forks 5, Dickinson 1
GF 100 004 0 - 5 6 0
D 001 000 0 - 1 6 3
Matt Clauson and Zach Murphy. Kendall Jones, Benson Kramer and Chase Ballard.
W–Name. L–Jones. HR–None.

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