Lewis Division withstands Clark Division HRs for Expedition League ASG victory

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Souris Valley Sabre Dogs outfielder Phillip Childs dances on the field during a break in the action at Corbett Field.

Colorful jerseys from every team in the league were on display Tuesday evening at Corbett Field for the 2019 Expedition League All-Star Game.

While the Clark Division provided an encore performance for the Home Run Derby that was held Monday night, the Lewis Division made up for last year’s All-Star defeat with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday.

The Souris Valley Sabre Dogs hosted the second annual event.

“This feels amazing, it’s a lot of fun to come out here and play with a bunch of guys who have a lot of talent,” said Sabre Dogs outfielder Crews Taylor, representing the Lewis Division. “We just get to enjoy ourselves and play baseball.”

The exhibition contest started with a bang. Sizing up the first pitch thrown by Sabre Dogs ace Bradley Spooner, Clark Division lead-off man Zack Peterson from the Western Nebraska Pioneers send a line drive shot over the right field fence.

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Hastings Sodbusters pitcher Trey Kissack throws a pitch during the 2019 Expedition League All-Star Game.

“I’m not a home run hitter in BP (batting practice), I’m not a home run hitter, period,” Peterson said. “But, I got a couple today. I got my pitches and I hit them good.”

Back-to-back two-out singles by the Hub City Hotshots duo of Jake Anderson and Rob Meidl gave the Lewis Division its first hits in the second inning. But, a sharp groundout ended the threat.

Not deterred, a pair of hometown Sabre Dogs took matters into their own hands. Mason Dinesen reached first base on a throwing error, stole second base and then was brought home in style when teammate Crews Taylor drilled an RBI triple into center field.

That was followed by an RBI single by Bryson Ford of the Badlands Big Sticks to put the Lewis Division ahead 2-1 in the third inning. Two runners were left on base.

“(The pitcher) was a lefty, crafty,” Taylor said. “I was just sitting on a fastball and he gave me one. I put a pretty good swing on it.”

Cole Gambill one-upped his Western Nebraska Pioneers teammate Peterson with a towering solo home run in the fourth inning. The ball sailed over the outer green wall and out of the confines of Corbett Field to tie the game at 2-2.

The Lewis Division All-Stars took the lead back in the fifth with a two-run single by Anderson.

Peterson punched back with another bomb in the sixth. His second home run of the game saw Sabre Dogs left fielder Phillip Childs give a courtesy run over to the fence to get a better view of the ball flying out.

“The first at-bat I was sitting fastball and I hit it good,” said Peterson, who came into the All-Star break with five home runs this summer. “The second at-bat I was sitting slider and I hit that too.”

The Lewis Division All-Stars found two insurance runs in the seventh — an RBI single and a bases loaded walk — and had solid defense the rest of the way to close out the win. That included a twisting and turning catch in the outfield by Childs for the final out.

“I love being here at home,” Taylor said. “This field is amazing and the home crowd here provides a great atmosphere.”

The Expedition League regular season resumes Thursday. The Sabre Dogs will travel to Gering, Nebraska, to face the Clark Division-leading Western Nebraska Pioneers in a four-game series.

The Sabre Dogs have 17 games left in the regular season with the final seven games being held at Corbett Field.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.

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