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‘They don’t give up’ -- Dickinson Roughriders face Sturgis in challenging doubleheader

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The Dickinson Roughriders tasted both triumph and tragedy Monday night as they faced off against Sturgis in a double header that saw them lose one, win one, succumbing 15-5 in the first game only to roar back with a vengeance the second, clenching a 10-7 win.

Game 1

The first game started out well enough with Roughrider Jaren Hughelen scoring one run on a double out the gate, but Sturgis retaliated with two runs of their own in the third inning and then really threw heat on the grease in the fifth, sending up seven sizzling runs that frame, thanks to a succession of singles. Sturgis did not commit a single error in the field.

“The first game we hung around there for awhile, I think it was 8-5 in the fifth. We misplayed a ball in the outfield that cost us,” Coach Tyler Frenzel said. “After that, things just spiralled out of control. Honestly, we didn’t play our best baseball.”

Still, the Roughriders racked up a few solid plays. Hughelen batted 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI; Isaac Daly batted 1-for-1 and sent two boys home at the top of the third, which would be the best inning for the Roughriders that game.

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Game 2

Where the first game saw Sturgis take and hold an early lead, the second instead saw the two teams battling neck and neck, standing tied at the top of the seventh. Something had to break, and it did: Nathaniel Jilek cracked a homer on a 3-2 count, scoring three runs. They’d end the frame with five on the board, doubling their score in a single inning. It was enough to push them into the lead and Sturgis failed to put up a counter attack, succumbing 10-7.

Great credit went to Hughelen once more, who made his stand this time on the pitcher’s mound, keeping Sturgis on their toes and maintaining control throughout his five innings on the mound. He racked up five strike-outs, allowed only four hits and three runs with no errors.

“We struggled a bit on the mound but Jared gave us a good outing and kept us in it and obviously, in the seventh, these guys … they don’t give up,” Coach Frenzel said. “They keep swinging.”

Jilek batted 2-for-3, earned one run and three RBI’s. Koby Krenz had a good night as well, going 4-for-4, making the most of every appearance on the plate and racking up three single base hits, a double, 2 runs and an RBI. Cody Maier went 1-for-3, with a single and two runs.

“We’re playing some good baseball. We just got to get our pitching straightened out,” Frenzel said. “The boys are playing great, the confidence is high, they’re having fun, I’m having fun, that’s the important thing.”

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