Pair of one-hitters propel Metros
Keegan Stenvold and Trent Greek both tossed one-hitters and the Minot Metros racked up 27 combined runs across two games to sweep the Dickinson Volunteers Tuesday evening in a Class A American Legion baseball doubleheader at Corbett Field in Minot.
Behind the masterful performances on the mound, Minot won the first game 15-0 in five innings and then took the nightcap 12-0 in five innings as well.
Both games counted toward the regional standings.
“Keegan (Stenvold) and Trent (Greek) threw a lot of strikes and that’s what they needed to do today,” Metros head coach Fred Nelson said. “Not too many walks and one hit apiece. I mean, you can’t ask for much more than that.”
The opening game started with a bang.
After watching a wild pitch bounce by to the backstop to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, Metros center fielder Talon Hebert powered the next pitch over the head of Dickinson’s center fielder.
The ball rolled all the way to the fence, which allowed Hebert to sprint around all the bases for an inside the park home run.
“That gave us a lot of momentum,” Nelson said. “That got the kids more excited than they were all ready. Talon (Hebert) got a piece of that one, so that was good to see.”
That turned out to be all the offense Stenvold needed. He was locked in after giving up an early hit and had a solid defense backing him up.
“Staying low in the zone, keep pounding and a short memory,” Stenvold said was his key to success. “Throwing what I know works. They didn’t touch my fastball much, so I just kept throwing that by them and not messing around.”
The Metros’ offense, like Stenvold, didn’t let up.
Five more runs came in the third inning. Tricky ball spin off the bat of Tyler Harbort started things off with an infield RBI single. Braedon McCarty followed that up with a two-run single, plus a throwing error brought in another run. Lastly, Landon Halseth turned on the jets for an RBI triple to give the Metros a 7-0 lead.
Hebert delivered an encore performance in the fourth inning with a two-run triple, as the ball eluded a diving left fielder. He came around to score on a double steal later in the inning to extend the Metros lead to double digits, 10-0.
Still not letting off the gas, Minot tacked on five more runs for an eight-run fourth inning. Calvin Baker, Caleb Reing and Ethan Pankow each joined the RBI party.
The Metros ended up with 15 runs on 10 hits, and were aided by five Dickinson errors, in the first game of the doubleheader.
“Ten hits was nice to see,” Nelson said. “First time we have seen something like that all year.”
Game 2 of the doubleheader started off the same way as the first: Reing scored the opening run off a wild pitch that found the backstop.
Things only got worse from there for Dickinson.
Five errors, an RBI single for McCarty and a two-run single for Tyler Johnson had the Metros up 7-0 after the top of the first inning — Minot was playing as the road team on home turf.
Greek took over on the mound for the Metros in Game 2. He followed right in Stenvold’s footsteps.
“Keegan (Stenvold) did a really great job,” Greek said while also acknowledging Stenvold’s outing provided him with some motivation. “Overall, my teammates just had my back. Having my teammates cheer me on is the best part.”
Minot’s third hit of the second game, coming in the third inning, was a two-run single by Pankow. Then, Jonas Bubach got the Metros into double figures again with an RBI single, 10-0.
The final two runs scored off a balk and an RBI single by McCarty.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of hits [total of six] in Game 2, but I thought we were able to put pressure on them in certain situations on the bases,” Nelson said. “That made them throw it around a little bit, and that was good for us. I think that will be really big for us down the road here the more games we start playing.”
The Metros will remain at Corbett Field for three more upcoming home contests against the Bismarck Reps (Thursday), Mandan A’s (Friday) and Watford City Walleye (June 24). All games are scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.