Smashing victory

Aluminum bats can be a great equalizer in American Legion baseball. In the right hands, it can mean what is usually an easily-caught fly ball with a wood bat instead heads over the outfield fence.

Burgard celebrated with teammates
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson Roughriders center fielder Caleb Burgard, right, is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning of Tuesday night's 19-7 win over the Rapid City (S.D.) Expos at Southside Municipal Ballpark.

Aluminum bats can be a great equalizer in American Legion baseball. In the right hands, it can mean what is usually an easily-caught fly ball with a wood bat instead heads over the outfield fence.

For Dickinson Roughriders third baseman Grant Dvorak, hitting with an aluminum bat gave him the role of hero in his team's 19-7 win over the Rapid City (S.D.) Expos in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.

The results of the second game were unavailable when The Dickinson Press was published. The teams play another doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. today. The game times were changed from an original 5:30 p.m. start time.

Dvorak's heroics came from hitting two three-run homers, including one that ended the game in the bottom of the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.

"They left me a couple of fastballs and I took advantage of it, I guess," Dvorak said.


Dvorak wasn't the only Roughrider to show power as center fielder Caleb Burgard hit his second homer in as many days with a blast over the left field fence in the first inning. First baseman Tevin Papineau hit a two-run shot as well.

Burgard went 1-for-1 and was walked four times. He has started the season on a tear by going 4-for-5.

Throughout the game, Dickinson's time in the batter's box came down to patience as Expos pitchers Tyson Sahli and Alex Marker gave up a combined 15 walks.

"I think I saw only three strikes altogether," Burgard said.

With four of the Roughriders' seven hits coming via the long ball, the team took advantage of the Expos pitchers' lack of control.

"We had some good plate discipline up there," Dickinson head coach Andy Emard said. "With discipline at the plate, you get yourself in a hitter's count."

Taylor Dutchak picked up the win for Dickinson, allowing five hits over four innings.

The Roughriders took the game over in the third when they put 10 runs across to go ahead 13-5.


Dvorak helped Dickinson tie the game at 5 after Expos third baseman Brandon Petersen mishandled his ball that allowed two runs to score.

Scott Gordon hit a RBI single and Papineau broke the floodgates open with his homer.

Rapid City left fielder Hunter Jackson's dropped ball on a Sean Kelly pop up let two runs in, and Dvorak finished Dickinson's scoring in the inning with his first homer.

The final push came in the fifth when Kelly, Brett Braunagel and Brodie Candrian added an RBI each before Dvorak's blast.

The Expos big inning came in the second when they put four runs across.

First baseman Ryne Lees had a two-run single, while Jackson and second baseman Carter Wevik added RBI singles.

Center fielder Greg Schaefer scored Rapid City's final runs in the fifth with a two-run single.

In the top of the first, Rapid City catcher Ethan Culey gave his side its first run with a sac fly RBI.


Burgard put the Roughriders up 3-1 in the bottom of the first with his home run.

"We got a couple out today," Emard said. "You'll take them. You never disregard a home run, but we're not going to revolve our team around hitting the long ball."

Rapid City 140 20 -- 7 6 2

Dickinson 30(1)0 06 -- 19 7 0

Tyson Sahli, Alex Marker (4) and Ethan Culey. Taylor Dutchak, Brett Braunagel (5) and Kyle Rohwedder. W-Dutchak (1-0). L-Sahli. HR-D, Dvorak (2), Burgard, Papineau.

Highlights: RC, Ryan Lees 1-3, 2 RBI; Greg Schaefer 1-for-3, 2 RBI. D, Grant Dvorak 2-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI; Caleb Burgard 1-for-1, HR, 3 RBI, BB; Tevin Papineau 1-for-1, HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB.

Records: Rapid City 16-4; Dickinson 1-1.

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