Roughriders take one of two from Royals
GRAND FORKS -- The Dickinson Roughriders American Legion baseball team managed a split with Grand Forks on Thursday to avoid ending the regular season on a six-game losing streak.
GRAND FORKS - The Dickinson Roughriders American Legion baseball team managed a split with Grand Forks on Thursday to avoid ending the regular season on a six-game losing streak.
Dickinson entered the evening on a four-game skid and lost the first game to the Royals 5-0.
In the nightcap, Lucas Jones allowed four hits and two earned runs in a complete game victory. Dickinson's offense got going in the final two innings to help him out, and the Roughriders escaped with a 4-2 win.
"The first game was, like, 'Uh oh, it's happening again,'" Dickinson head coach Stephen Greenwood said.
Dickinson tallied just five hits in the first game, but Royals pitcher Brock Reller held the Roughriders in check. Reller struck out 10 and walked one in the victory.
Jones cracked a triple in the game, and Michael McChesney, Shawn Stoltz, Shawn Steffan and Tristen Brunk all added singles.
Tanner Ouellette took the loss on the mound after allowing four earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
"We had a long conversation between the games," Greenwood said. "We got really close and said it's really hard right now. All we can do is fight for each other. The ability is in us to play good baseball. It's the mental part that's tough right now. We have the capability to do something special next week. We just have to put it all together."
With the split, Dickinson's chance at the second seed in next week's Legion state tournament is now in the hands of the Minot Vistas. Minot and Fargo Post 2 play their final series Friday in Fargo. Dickinson will need the Vistas to sweep Fargo in order to earn the two seed. A split or a sweep in the other direction likely puts Dickinson as the third seed.
Dickinson regrouped in the nightcap Thursday to end its regular season with a victory.
The Royals got RBI hits from Landon Kraft and Noah Chine in the second inning, but Dickinson tied it up in the top of the sixth with RBI from Ouellette and Sam England.
"Sam had a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single that tied it," Greenwood said. "That's not easy to do at any level."
Dickinson took its first lead of the evening on Stoltz's RBI single in the top of the seventh that scored Ethan Dietz. Jones then followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Stoltz for the final margin.
"The play that stands out the most is Ethan Dietz pinch running for Cody Maier after he got on base," Greenwood said. "Michael McChesney didn't get the bunt down and later struck out, and Dietz read the down angle, took off and got into scoring position. That's the biggest play of the game, I think. I don't know if we win if we don't get that."
Jones sat the Royals down in the bottom of the seventh without incident to preserve the win. He struck out six in the game.
"Credit to Lucas Jones for doing what he did," Greenwood said. "We needed that so bad. He was efficient, controlling all of his pitches. He was an absolute dude today."
Regardless of Dickinson's exact seeding for the state tournament, they avoid the play-in games next Tuesday, so the team's next game comes Wednesday.
Grand Forks 5, Dickinson 0
D 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
GF 000 230 X - 5 5 0
D: Tanner Ouellette (6) and Tristen Brunk. GF: Brock Reller (7), Landon Kraft, and Zach Murphy.
W-Reller. L-Ouellette. HR-None.
Highlights: D: Tristen Brunk 1-2; Shawn Steffan 1-3; Shawn Stoltz 1-3; Michael McChesney 1-3; Lucas Jones 1-3, 3B; Tanner Ouellette 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 K, 1 BB. GF: Ben Carolin 1-2, 3 RBI; Brenden Bethke 1-3, 2 R; Brock Reller 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 R, 7 IP, 5 H, 10 K, 1 BB.
Dickinson 4, Grand Forks 2
D 000 002 2 - 4 6 1
GF 020 000 0 - 2 4 0
D: Lucas Jones (6) and Tristen Brunk. GF: Brenden Bethke (5), Zach Murphy (2) and Noah Chine.
W-Jones. L-Murphy. HR-None.
Highlights: D: Shawn Stoltz 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R; Cody Maier 2-3; Sam England 1-1, 1 RBI; Shawn Steffan 1-3; Tanner Ouellette 1 RBI; Lucas Jones 1 RBI, 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 6 K, 3 BB. GF: Landon Kraft 2-3, 1 RBI; Noah Chine 1-3, 1 RBI; Ben Carolin 1-3; Brenden Bethke 5 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 4 BB.