Roughriders split doubleheader with Grand Forks in season opener
After a light-hearted scrimmage against the Badlands Big Sticks on Monday, the Roughriders got their season underway with a doubleheader in Grand Forks against the Royals.
American Legion play got underway Tuesday night after a summer off due to the pandemic last year.
Game one went to the hosts as Grand Forks got a quality start from their pitcher Brett Feller, who went five and a third innings with four strikeouts and surrendering only two hits.
“Give their pitcher credit he pitched a heck of a game, he didn’t walk anyone,” head coach Tyler Frenzel said. “We hit some balls hard but they didn’t find any space.”
Grand Forks went up 1-0 in the first inning but the game remained close as Isaac Daley went four innings for the Roughriders on the mound with three strikeouts and giving up two hits.
Aiden Haich would relieve him in the fifth and gave up four runs in the inning and fell behind 5-0 which would be enough for the Royals to hang on to. The Roughriders had only three hits all game.
“We didn’t play badly, we just couldn’t get any timely hits,” Frenzel said. “They did a good job of keeping us off the basepaths and never had a chance to get going.”
Drew Kovash, Troy Berg, and Daley collected a hit apiece.
The second game saw more activity from the bats, where Dickinson scored three runs in the final inning to nab a 5-2 win over Grand Forks.
Berg had a go-ahead two-run triple in the top of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie and put the Roughriders ahead 5-2. It was his third hit and second triple of the game.
After an all-WDA selection in the high school season with the Dickinson Midgets, Berg figures to be one of the most important players from Frenzel to call upon this summer.
“He is our dude,” Frenzel said. “He has to step up. We’ve got younger guys on the squad this year. He is our leader, we go how he goes. He made some nice plays in the field too and when he’s playing well we can do some good things.”
Berg finished the game with two RBI and pitched the final inning to earn the save.
Jadon Bast started the second game for Dickinson and battled through some inconsistencies as he walked six batters. But he remained strong and went six innings and gave up just one hit and only two strikeouts.
That meant a lot of balls were put in play which required the Roughriders defense to remain sharp--and they were as they committed no errors in game two.
Haich and Kaden Krieg both collected an RBI each in game two.
Next up for the Roughriders will be a trip south to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the Dakota Classic tournament this Friday through Sunday.