Blue Hawks blow out Valley City State in Wednesday doubleheader

Apr. 18—DICKINSON — The Dickinson State University Blue Hawks improved to 10-32 overall with a pair of home-wins in a Wednesday, April 17, 2024 twin-bill, 19-8 and 14-6 and now stand at 4-15 in the North Star Athletic Conference. Jonathan Lerma took the win in the opener on three innings of work with 4 strikeouts and no walks, while Tate Williams was victorious in the nightcap as the staff combined for 6 Ks and gave up only 5 earned runs.

With an enormous, 8-run second inning, Dickinson State scored all they would need and never looked back, as designated hitter Clay Prell hit a towering solo homer over the center-field wall with the wind at his back. Prell added a second solo-shot to cap off the scoring in the inning and give the Blue Hawks an 8-1 lead. In the meantime, shortstop Jace Buchanan plated second-baseman Kadin Finders and Wyatt Wilharm knocked a 2-run single to right field that scored Buchanan and Dickinson native Nathaniel Jilek. Left-fielder Mathias Dufner homered to left and scored Carlos Molina, Jr. and Wilharm during the onslaught.

The scoring kept piling up from there on the way to the win, as Dufner racked-up 6 RBI on 3-for-4 plate-production with a duo of homers, a double and 3 runs, while Prell was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and 3 RBI, sending 2 dingers over the wall, himself. Wyatt Wilharm sent 2 RBIs across the plate in a 2-for-4 performance that included a couple of runs as well.

DSU scored 6 runs down the stretch in the final three frames of work to close out the afternoon.

DSU took a 3-run lead in the first inning and held an 8-4 lead after two frames, but another huge inning paced the Blue Hawks to the win, as 7 runners crossed the dish in the crucial third frame. While the hosts held a 19-5 advantage by the bottom of the fifth, the Vikings (14-27 overall, 6-10 NSAA), eked-out 3 runs in the last two innings, but it wasn't enough as Dickinson State took Game 1 in a rout.

Buchanan had a solid opener with 2 runs and 5 RBI with a dinger on a 2-for-3 game and Molina, Jr. went 3-for-4 with a trio of runs and 3 RBI with a pair of doubles and a home run. Dufner plated 4 RBI of his own on a 2-for-4 performance with 3 runs and 2 dingers. In all, the home-team sent 6 shots over the outfield wall in Game 1, which included a Jilek grand-slam in the third inning.

Next-up for the Blue Hawks will be the Tuesday, April 23 matchup with area rivals Jamestown at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark, which starts at 1 p.m., and that will be followed by a Friday, April 26 doubleheader at Valley City State with another twin-bill to follow the next day in more NSAA action to close out next week and the conference schedule for 2023-24.

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