Magi baseball wins both games against Dickinson on Senior Night, 11-1 and 12-2
Alex Schimke stood patiently at the plate, just waiting for a chance to strike.
The senior was looking to get the ball rolling Friday in the opening inning of the Minot High School baseball team’s doubleheader against Dickinson on Senior Night. With a 3-1 count and zeros for both squads on the scoreboard, he stared Midgets pitcher Nicholas Deschamp down while rhythmically swinging his bat back and forth.
After a brief pause, Deschamp went into the motion and threw a fastball in Schimke’s direction. The veteran Magician connected, sending a high-flying shot into left field. It didn’t take long for those at Corbett Field to realize the ball wasn’t coming back, as they immediately erupted.
Sure enough, the deep bomb cleared the fence for a solo home run. All Dickinson’s defense could do was watch as Schimke trotted around the bases and met his teammates at home.
“It was pretty cool,” Schimke said. “You don’t really go up (to the plate) thinking about it. I just got a pitch that I liked and tried to hit it hard. I was able to elevate it enough, so it was a cool moment.”
Little did the Midgets know, this was only the beginning.
The Magi (17-11, 8-8 West Region) put on a show in Friday’s Senior Night, claiming a pair of wins against Dickinson (13-11, 12-4 West Region). On a night that marked the send-off for Minot’s seniors, the veteran core fittingly led the way en route to victories by scores of 11-1 and 12-2.
“It’s been a long time coaching these kids and seeing them growing up,” MHS head coach Pete Stenberg said. “It’s a little bit emotional, but today was a good day.”
It didn’t take long for Minot to strike again after Schimke’s solo homer, as fellow senior Kyler Stenberg doubled the lead two at-bats later. With a runner on third and two outs, Kyler laid down a bunt that rolled along the left-field line and appeared to be an easy out.
But it wasn’t.
Instead, the senior went into a mad dash for first base and beat the throw, allowing another run to come in. Minot then added one more run in the inning for good measure to take a 3-0 lead, and Schimke did the rest from the mound.
The veteran ace allowed just one run in the outing and struck out three batters to help the Magi cruise to a five-inning, 11-1 victory. Kyler Stenberg finished with two RBIs, one triple and two runs on 2-for-4 hitting, while Schimke recorded one home run, one RBI and three runs on 1-for-1 hitting.
Game 2 proved to be more difficult, though.
Dickinson’s Landon Aman gave the road team a quick 1-0 edge in the top of the first inning with an RBI double off senior pitcher Brock Nesheim, and Aiden Haich pushed the lead to 2-0 on the next at-bat with a sacrifice fly to put some immediate pressure on the Magi’s offense.
Now, it was Kyler Stenberg’s turn to get the ball rolling.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the first inning, the senior walked up to the plate with a bat in his hand and some bad intentions on his mind.
After throwing a strike on the first pitch, Dickinson’s Kobe Krenz sent another fireball down the middle.
Kyler loaded up and unleashed a powerful swing that made direct contact with the ball, sending a bullet of a shot over the first baseman’s head and into the outfield. All three runners came home to give Minot a 3-2 lead, and the senior slid safely into third base for the triple.
“It think it was huge (to respond quickly),” Kyler Stenberg said. “You can’t ever let a team just hang around, so it was good to get back on top and just keep working from there.”
The electric play was all the Magi needed to get going. Minot put up consecutive four-run innings to start the game and coasted to a 12-2 win. Kyler finished with a monstrous stat line of six RBIs, two triples, one double and three runs on 3-for-4 hitting.
“It’s great,” Kyler Stenberg said. “Any time you can go 3-for-4 at the plate is a good night, and it was just even better to do it on our last regular-season game as a senior at home. That made it a little more meaningful to do it on this field.”
With the regular season now in the books, the Magi shift their focus to the West Region tournament at Municipal Ball Park in Bismarck from Thursday to Saturday.
Minot, who enters as the No. 6 seed, is set to face none other than No. 3-seeded Dickinson to start the tournament.
“We’re starting to play the type of baseball that we’ve been looking for these past few games,” Pete Stenberg said. “And we’re still hoping for some better days. We’re building our way up there and preparing for the tournament.”
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.