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Roughriders split opening games of Gopher Classic

WOODBURY, Minn. -- The Dickinson Roughriders battled through an early start to split a doubleheader on Friday at the Gopher Classic, winning 11-3 against Maple Plain (Minn.) and losing 9-5 against Sioux Falls East (S.D.).The Roughriders began pla...

WOODBURY, Minn. - The Dickinson Roughriders battled through an early start to split a doubleheader on Friday at the Gopher Classic, winning 11-3 against Maple Plain (Minn.) and losing 9-5 against Sioux Falls East (S.D.).
The Roughriders began play at 7 a.m. Mountain Time against Maple Plain, but the team responded well, head coach Stephen Greenwood said. Austin Boswell picked up the win after limiting the Diamond Devils to just five hits in the game.
“(Boswell) looked great,” Greenwood said. “He pitched down in Omaha for us but battled some arm soreness, so he hasn’t pitched since Omaha. We’re hoping we can get that arm healthy because he’ll be a great asset for us going forward.”
Boswell struck out two and walked one. All three runs allowed were earned, but the Roughriders’ lineup backed him up each time.
After the Diamond Devils struck in the first inning, Lucas Jones and Cam Jorda came through with RBI in the bottom of the frame for a 2-1 lead.
Dickinson slowly added more from there, getting two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth. When Maple Valley tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, Dickinson (16-17) scored four times with two outs in the bottom half to enact the tourney’s eight-run rule and end the game early.
“It was nice to get back in it after they got a couple runs,” Greenwood said. “We only had to use one pitcher, and we were able to save another inning on our arms. … We’ve really been preaching on focusing up when we have runners in scoring position - that’s been our nemesis a little bit.”
In all, Jorda and Jones each went 1 for 2 with three RBI and a run scored. Sam England notched two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs, and Michael McChesney 

was 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI and three runs scored. Tanner Ouellette and Benson Kramer each scored twice, and Shawn Steffan scored once with an RBI.
“For as early as we played, the boys looked pretty darned good,” Greenwood said. “I always say, I don’t care who’s in the lineup, if you’re on the Roughriders, you’re there for a reason. They all have that ability to get hits, or multiple hits, no matter where they are in the order.”
Against Sioux Falls East, a five-run second inning did in the Roughriders, however.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Jorda, Sioux Falls loaded the bases with no outs against Jorda and got a two-run single from Matt Graham, bases-loaded walks from Josh Nevin and Matt Hedeen, and a single from Andrew White.
“(That inning) hurt a lot,” Greenwood said. “The morale kind of went down after they put up the five-spot. It came down to some execution situations. We didn’t play our best baseball that inning, didn’t hit our spots.”
Ouellette had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-2. Sioux Falls added two more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, answering every time the Roughriders tried to mount a comeback.
Dickinson scored next in the sixth with a Chase Ballard single, followed by a sacrifice fly from Steffan to make it 8-4. In the seventh, and trailing 9-4, Kendall Jones singled to score McChesney, but that’s all Dickinson would get.
“Without that one big inning,” Greenwood said, “we have a lot better chance.”
Jorda took the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and six walks in 5 2/3 innings. McChesney pitched the rest of the way, allowing the final run with three walks and one strikeout.
Ballard and McChesney led the Roughriders with two hits each. Ballard, Kramer, Eli Jung, McChesney and Lucas Jones all scored one run each.
The Roughriders return to action at 5 p.m. today against Woodbury (Minn.).
“We got up crazy early (Friday), 4 a.m. Mountain Time to play two games,” Greenwood said. “We don’t usually start a game before when we were done with both of these, so we hope to be fresh (today) because Woodbury took fourth in their high school state tournament. They’ll be a challenge.”

Dickinson 11, Maple Plain 3
MP 100 002 - 3 5 1
D 200 234 - 11 10 0
Jake Hartmann, Bottinger, Kvern and Wingerd. Austin Boswell and Eli Jung.
W–Boswell. L–Hartmann. HR–None.
Highlights: MP, Peters 1 for 2, 2 RBI; Anthony Tavella RBI, run; Kvern 2 for 2, run. D, Lucas Jones 1 for 2, 3 RBI, run; Cam Jorda 1 for 2, 3 RBI, run; Sam England 2 for 4, 2 RBI; Michael McChesney 2 for 3, 3 runs, RBI; Tanner Ouellette 1 for 3, 2 runs; Benson Kramer 1 for 1, 2 runs; Shawn Steffan 1 for 2, run, RBI; Eli Jung 1 for 3.

Sioux Falls East 9, Dickinson 5
SFE 050 021 1 - 9 9 3
D 110 002 1 - 5 9 1
Jake Barkema and Josh Nevin. Cam Jorda, Michael McChesney and Chase Ballard.
W–Barkema. L–Jorda. HR–None.
Highlights: SFE, Matt Graham 2 for 4, 3 RBI, run; Josh Nevin 1 for 3, RBI, run; Elliot Barnes 2 for 4, 2 runs. D, Michael McChesney 2 for 4, run; Cam Jorda 1 for 3, RBI; Kendall Jones 1 for 1, RBI; Chase Ballard 2 for 4, RBI, run; Shawn Steffan RBI, Tanner Ouellette RBI; Sam England 1 for 3; Eli Jung 1 for 4, run; Benson Kramer 1 for 4, run; Lucas Jones run.

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