Big Sticks almost double-up Rox with 11-6 home-win

Jun. 7—DICKINSON — One could have expected the baseballs to fly out of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Ballpark in multitudes with the heavy, gale-force winds over the last few days, but left-fielder Kaden Carpenter's first-inning, 3-run bomb — which scored designated-hitter Mason Strong and first-baseman Evan Appelwick — was one very important homer that kick-started the Big Sticks on the way to an 11-6 win at home. One: It eclipsed St. Cloud's solid, 2-run start to the game and, Two: it brought the DCB&TB crowd to its feet as a sign of what the 'Sticks are capable of in 2024.

That said, the next four innings for both clubs resulted in a series of goose-eggs as both pitchers locked down on their opposition with Big Sticks starter Oliver Ward settling down to take the win and fan 5 over his five innings of work while walking zero and scattering 5 hits along the way.

The Big Sticks broke loose in the sixth inning and controlled the game down the stretch with second-baseman Zach Selfon singling to center — and subsequently stealing second to get into scoring position — and pinch-hitter Quade Peters bringing him across the plate with a drive to the same location. Catcher Jake Paczkowski kept up the pressure with a walk, and centerfielder Marcus Romero brought him home on a two-out double, then shortstop Tristan Ellis helped the 'Sticks double their first-inning production on an RBI-single to left-center that plated Romero for a 6-2 advantage to the home-team.

More was awaiting the Rox as the Big Sticks (5-5) saw 4 more runs in the seventh with the hosts responding to the visitors' 2-run top-of-the-inning through a bases-loaded, 3-run double from Peters that scored Appelwick, Carpenter and third-baseman Troy Berg. The 'Sticks added another run to the total on Paczkowski's next at-bat with a single to center that scored the speedy Peters and offer some cushion and a 10-4 lead.

As the relief staff of Braxton Greenburg, Alex James, Dimitrios Bourmas and Dylan Cortes came on to strike out 3 more and hold St. Cloud to 3 earned-runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, the Big Sticks ran one more across the dish with Strong's leadoff-single and steal of third that was followed by a groundout-RBI from Appelwick to close out the contest in favor of the home-team.

Peters came off the bench for a multi-hit performance at a perfect 2-of-2 with a run and 3 RBI with a double, while Romero was the other multi-hitter for the 'Sticks with a 2-for-4 effort that saw him score once and drive one in, with a double and a stolen-base added to the mix.

Next-up for the Big Sticks will be a road-trip to Mankato to face the 4-4 Moondogs at 6:35 p.m. tonight, June 7, with righthander Ryan Geraghty expected to start on the mound for the visitors.

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