Midgets take 2 from Minot in contrasting styles

Dickinson High’s baseball team has made a living off one-run game as of late.

The Midgets continued that trend in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Minot High on Friday at Corbett Field.

Dickinson improved to 3-1, winning their fourth straight one-run affair while topping Minot 4-3 in the opener.

“We are a team that isn’t ever ready to give up at any time,” Dickinson coach Pete Dobitz said.

The bats warmed up in the nightcap as the Midgets swept the Magicians with a 12-4 win under the lights.

“I thought defensively – other than one error – our whole team played really well on defense,” Dobitz said. “The last week and half we’ve been playing real solid defense. Pitchers have been throwing strikes, but tonight it was nice to have the bats wake up.”

Dickinson registered 14 hits during Game 2 and roughed up a shorthanded Minot pitching staff.

“They just waited to get their pitch,” Dickinson senior starter Brock Messer said. “The ball looked really big to them and they raked it.”

Junior designated hitter Treven Hopfauf led the charge with four hits while classmates Cameron Jorda (third baseman) and second baseman Lucas Jones both logged three apiece.

Dickinson struck for four runs in the second inning, getting a two-run single from junior Shawn Steffan.

The Magicians battled back to tie it in the bottom half of the fourth on an RBI single from sophomore third baseman Carson Tonini.

But it didn’t take the Midgets long to answer.

Dickson put up a six-spot and chased Minot senior starter Conor Taney from the game during the top of the fifth and added two more insurance runs in the sixth.

“We had a 4-1 lead there and they punched us in the mouth with three runs to tie it,” Dobitz said. “But I liked how we responded right away with more runs, which is a nice sign because we’ve struggled to score of late.”

Messer’s efficient night was lost in the barrage of hits.

He threw six innings, scattering six hits while fanning three.

“The third inning really got to me,” Messer said. ” I just lost a little bit of focus there, but I have the best ‘D’ in the state and it gave me confidence to go up there and throw strikes.”

That defense and another solid outing – this time by Steffan – catapulted the Midgets to a close win in the opener.

“This wasn’t one of finest nights,” Minot coach Pete Stenberg said. “We had been swinging a little better coming into this game. I think we just hit a little bit of a lull. We scored there in the first and again in the fourth and fifth. But you can’t leave blanks out there and we have to shore that up. We need to be a little more mentally prepared, be more confident and have better at-bats.”

Minot logged only four this in the opener, but opened a 2-1 advantage heading into the fifth and final inning.

But the Magicians – a team still searching for a closer and with a shortage of available arms available – couldn’t hang on.

Sophomore Paxton Wahlund yielded three runs in the top of fifth and Minot had one final gasp with the base loaded and two outs in the botton half of the inning, but senior Liam Owens line out to second.

Minot hosts St. Mary’s on Friday.

John Denega covers Minot High athletics, Minot State softball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @JohnDenega_MDN.