Dickinson State University hosted a weekend series against Trojans at The Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark. It all started on Saturday afternoon with both teams set for a close match and knew that this would be a well-disputed series – a fact proven after both had settled with a split.
Although the last two games ended in a loss for the Blue Hawks, coach Mike Dahl could only smile as he said, “It’s baseball.”
Saturday saw two wins for the Blue Hawks, with game one ending 6-3 and the game’s two results being 6-2.
Although both teams stuck to defensive play in game one, where the first half saw zero runs, it was in the second half when the Trojans got three points after Josh Van Beek hit a homer with three runs. This did not prevent DSU’s form as they would rally back and score their first point in the third round before finding significant success in the fourth round with five extra races, enough to claim the victory.
“Our hitters come to the base to start, and we have clutch hits with guys running in scoring positions, so it’s huge,” Dahl said. “Every time your guys get in the scoring position and the guys have clutch hits … running in the race … that’s pretty much how the offense has to work.”
In game two, Dickinson State University continued to work on the pitching mound, with Jacob Scully going six rounds before sending the baton to senior Nathan Delahanty to close the final round. Between the two, they allowed only two races and eight hits throughout the game as Delahanty did not allow any races in the final frame. Confidence increased throughout the game as the Blue Hawks held the lead from the second half and would not give it up.
Senior Nathan Delahanty. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)
“It’s much easier to play from the front than from the back. Puts all the pressure on them, and we can still play loose and free, “said Coach Dahl. “So if we can go out there again, have closed innings or minimal injury, we can come back and score more races.”
Not all plans are fulfilled, and unfortunately that was the case when match three on Saturday led to bad weather and cold bats.
Game three ended with a 2-6 loss, as the Blue Hawks failed to collect races before the sixth round – well behind the Trojans who regularly increased the lead all the time.
“I think we ran into a few places that we put over the middle of the plate in the dishes at the beginning of the game, and they took advantage of it; got some basic hits, got some races. They just beat us all the fights, “said Dahl. “Their starting pitcher really kept the offense down until we got to him and was just too little too late … they could go to the bullpen and choose who they would throw.”
The series ended Saturday with game four starting at 4 p.m., when Dakota State University gained a huge advantage in the first round, bringing seven races over and sealing the Blue Hawks’ fate. DSU wanted to rally by scoring 3 points on the fifth and an extra point on the seventh, but the competition was out of reach with a final result of 4-11.
“It came to the first round where we could not get out, put some seats over the plate, some boys went, they got some clutch hits; It was one of the waterfalls we call it. “Nothing went our way, and everything went their way,” Dahl said. “We still played pretty well … When you get a split on a conference weekend, you take it. We did not really help ourselves not to win the series, but we did not lose the series either. In terms of conferences, in terms of records, we are exactly where we need to be. I take a split every weekend series instead of losing ”
The weekend series ended in a split with the DSU conference record now 10-9. They will be on their way this week with a non-conference game against Jamestown, and on Saturday they will have their next conference series away, against Mayville State University.