The Minot Vistas labored in the field during a nearly three-hour loss to Dickinson in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Jack Hoeven Park.
Minot's four pitchers walked or hit 15 Dickinson batters and the Vistas' infield compounded the mistakes by committing five errors - plus a few more misplays and botched double plays that turned into fielder's choices.
The result: a 17-7 American Legion win for the Roughriders and a frustrated coach in Todd Larson.
Vistas catcher Jake Magnuson swings during Minot’s 17-7 loss to Dickinson in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Jack Hoeven Park. Magnuson, normally a player for the Minot Metros, was behind the plate for older brother Ben’s complete-game victory in game two.
"We gotta find players that wanna come out and throw strikes," Larson said after game one. "We gotta find infielders that want the ball hit to them, we wanna find some infielders that can throw the ball across the field. Until our roster decides they wanna be here and they wanna be in the situation to make a play or get the big base hit, we're gonna be in some trouble. We're just kind of in a tailspin right now."
The second game was the polar opposite for the Vistas (11-16). Behind a complete-game pitching performance from Ben Magnuson, the Vistas were engaged in the field and won 10-2.
"It all started on the mound," Larson said. "When the pitcher's throwing a lot of strikes, first-pitch strikes, the defense is on their toes ready to react. Ben is a four-year player for us and he's just what we needed in that second game. I'm proud of our guys and the way they responded after that brutal first game."
In game one, the Vistas took advantage of Dickinson's mishaps to lead 3-1 after the first inning.
Leadoff Sheldon Marmon walked and Marcus Quist and Austin Berntson followed with singles. All three would score in the inning as Roughrider shortstop Dylan Skabo made an error and Dickinson starter Alex Hushka balked.
The Roughriders (9-16) took the lead for good with a five-run third inning. Cleanup James Kary had a two-run triple down the right-field line after it appeared he was looking to sacrifice runners to second and third.
"We were gonna bunt," Dickinson coach Andy Tomanek said. "When he ended up pullin' back on the ball the defense moved around so much and he hits to the right side, so I just let him hit away. He's been one of our most consistent hitters all year so it wasn't any question to let him hit away."
The sixth inning got ugly for Minot as the Roughriders sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on just four hits.
Dickinson had multiple baserunners in every inning as all four of Minot's pitchers - Hunter Oothoudt, Alex Howell, Ethan Stein and Caleb Fornshell - struggled to find the strike zone. Hushka, Mason Schift and Kary had two hits apiece to lead Dickinson, who scored 17 runs on 10 hits.
Vistas second baseman Marcus Quist batted 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored to lead Minot.
Jake Magnuson, Ben's 16-year-old brother and normally a catcher/pitcher/outfielder for the Minot Metros, was called up to the older team to catch for Ben.
"It was a lot of fun," Larson said. "They enjoyed it, I enjoyed it. Ben's meant a lot to our program for four years so I'm glad we could honor him that way."