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Magi swept by Sabers in Friday twin-bill

Ryan Ladika/MDN Trent Greek takes an at-bat during the first game of Minot High's Friday doubleheader. The designated hitter was one of two Magi to record two hits in the opener.

The Minot High Magicians rallied in the final frame of game one, but ultimately fell short of their 12th win of the season Friday afternoon, falling 5-4 and 6-5 in both ends of a doubleheader to the visiting Bismarck Legacy Sabers at Corbett Field.

Minot has enjoyed a dominant beginning to their first full season since 2019, prevailing in all but one of their first 12 contests of the season. The Magi entered their first meeting with the Sabers riding a five game win streak, having outscored their opposition 40-17 since a doubleheader-opening defeat to Dickinson April 23.

Legacy has also enjoyed early success during the season’s first month, earning seven wins through its first 11 games. Both squads have been led by a potent offense to begin their respective campaigns, as Minot had plated at least 10 runs on six different occasions, and Legacy three.

Charlie Slotsve received the nod from his skipper, Pete Stenberg, and got the Magi off on a positive note, retiring each of the first seven hitters he faced. Sabers pitcher Miles Striefel came through with a one-out, third-inning single to give Legacy its first baserunner and kickstart the squad’s offense. Following a groundout off the bat of Sabers second baseman Brett Martin, leadoff hitter Cru Walker came through with a two-out RBI double, giving Legacy the early 1-0 lead.

After earning a pair of hits without anything to show for them in their first two innings, the Magi also broke through in their half of the third inning. Backstop Braedon McCartyand second baseman Morgan Nygaard both reached base at the bottom of the lineup with a walk and being hit by a pitch, respectively.

Chase Burke also reached on a fielder’s choice out of the leadoff spot to load the bases with no one out for first baseman Eli Nissen. The corner infielder lined a two-run single to give Minot its first lead of the day.

It was relatively short-lived, as Legacy hung a three-spot on the Magi in the top of the fifth inning, and plated a fifth tally in the top of the sixth on the strength of a two-run Walker double and a sacrifice fly from Striefel, and Minot entered the final frame trailing by three runs.

The Magi built a rally against Striefel in the bottom of the seventh, drawing three consecutive free passes to begin the inning. Stenberg turned to Bailey McCarty off the bench to pinch hit for Nygaard, but he promptly hit into a double play.

A run did score on the play, but Minot’s scoring chance was significantly diminished with the ground ball. A second tally came home on a passed ball, but Striefel fanned Burke for the final out, sealing Legacy’s 5-4 victory. Minot was led on offense during the doubleheader’s first game by Nissen, two singles and two RBI.

Minot jumped out to an early 5-0 lead through the first three innings of the nightcap, but surrendered six runs in the top of the fourth and later fell by that 6-5 final score.

After dropping both Friday contests, the Magi have a quick turnaround, as the club will travel to Dickinson to face off with the Midgets Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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