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Zubke throws shutout, helps Midgets sweep Braves

MANDAN -- Dickinson High junior Chris Zubke dominated Mandan from the mound on Tuesday afternoon, throwing a five-inning complete game shutout to help the Midgets to an 8-0 victory.

MANDAN - Dickinson High junior Chris Zubke dominated Mandan from the mound on Tuesday afternoon, throwing a five-inning complete game shutout to help the Midgets to an 8-0 victory.

“As we got him some runs, he began to relax on the mound, and he just got better as the game went on,” Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. “He did a good job of staying around the plate and letting the defense work - good outing for that young man.”

The Midgets completed the sweep in the second game, an 11-5 decision, to run their season record to 9-1.

In the first game, catcher Chase Ballard doubled in a run in the second inning, and Shawn Stoltz hit a sacrifice fly in the third for a 2-0 lead.

Dickinson hit Braves pitcher Mason Huntley hard in the fourth inning by plating six runs. After getting the first out, Huntley walked Austin Boswell and allowed consecutive singles to Ballard, Kendall Jones, Zubke and Lucas Jones before being relieved by Easton Miller. Miller then allowed singles to Tanner Ouellette and Cam Jorda, followed by another sacrifice fly from Stoltz for an 8-0 lead.

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Zubke allowed just four runners all game. He had two walks and only allowed two hits - a double to Ricky Zander followed by a single by Conner Seefeld to open the bottom of the third inning. Zubke got Miller to ground into a fielder’s choice, getting Zander out at home, and then got Jackson Zittleman to fly out to Eli Jung in right field, where he threw back to Stoltz at first for a double play.

In the second game, the Midgets and Braves were tied 5-5 through four innings, but nine runs in the seventh put the game away.

Ouellette started with a double, and Jorda and Stoltz followed with singles that each scored runs. Three more walks, three more hits and a hit batsman made matters worse for the Braves, and Dickinson took advantage.

“It was timely hitting and good at-bats. We had good approaches at the plate,” Dobitz said. “We had some good hitter’s counts and they were struggling to get the ball over the plate, and when they did, it was right down the middle and we put the ball in play really well in that last inning.”

Stoltz finished 3 for 5 with three RBI in the second game, and Ballard tallied two hits to go with three that he had in the first game.

“He had the opportunity to swing the bat, and he was seeing the ball really well,” Dobitz said of Ballard. “Another kid I have to give kudos to is Treven Hopfauf. Eli (Jung) struggled a little bit on the mound, and Treven came in and righted the ship. He pitched a really good game from then on out.”

After Jung gave up five runs (four earned) on two hits and three walks in just 1 1/3 innings, Hopfauf came on in relief and pitched the rest of the way, allowing four hits but no runs with one strikeout and one walk.

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