Midgets halve series with Mandan

May 15—DICKINSON — The Tuesday, May 14 series at Dakota Community Bank and Trust Ballpark started out with a nailbiting, extra-innings, come-from-behind thriller for Dickinson High School, but ended in something of a whimper, as the Midgets were upended 14-4 after taking the win in the opener, 7-6. Jeremiah Jilek had another whale of a game in the win, pitching all 8 innings in gritty fashion, while the staff surrendered all 14 runs in the second and third innings of the nightcap and the hosts were unable to string together the necessary offense in the run-rule-shortened Game 2 of the doubleheader.

After Mandan earned an early, 1-0 lead in the top of the first and added 3 more in the third, the Midgets came out of the gates running in the fifth, closing the gap to 4-1 as backstop Christian Tibor was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a series of Mandan errors before stealing home.

The Braves took a seemingly insurmountable 5-1 lead in the sixth before the fireworks started for the Midgets in the bottom of the seventh, with a Kyler Kudrna single that was followed by a one-bagger from designated-hitter Tyler Danbom and a walk to Tibor that loaded the bases for the hosts. After Colin Tschetter walked Kudrna across the plate, the Midgets began their 2-out rally with another walk to junior third-baseman Jack Price that loaded the bases for the second time in the inning, and senior first-baseman Kaeden Krieg ripped a single to left that scored Tschetter and maintained the fullness of the bags. Jilek then helped his own cause by reaching on an error that also scored senior second-baseman senior second-baseman Jace Kovash and Price to even the score at 5-apiece and send the contest into extra-frames.

While Mandan was able to get a run across the plate in the top of the eighth, DHS was having none of that and sent three more runners to occupy the bases in the bottom-half of the inning on an Easum walk, a Kudrna double and an intentional walk to Danbom that was followed by a shot from the bat of Tibor that plated Easum on an error to tie the game at 6-6 and yet-another walk-off hit from Kovash on a liner to center that scored Kudrna to end the game during bonus-baseball.

Kovash wound up going 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI, while Price was 2-for-3 with a run and Kudrna had the double on 2-for-4 hitting with a pair of runs. Jilek did the yeoman's work from the mound and — while he might not have registered a strikeout — managed to scatter the Braves' hits in such a way they were unable to score more than their 6 runs with only 4 of them being earned. The visitors outhit Dickinson, 13-8, but the timeliness of the hosts' hits made the difference down the stretch in the opening victory.

Despite taking a 1-0 lead at the end of the first inning through Jilek's sac-fly that scored Kovash, the Midgets dropped to 18-8 as the 2024 Division A season winds to a close, suffering through a 14-run onslaught over the next two innings. DHS managed to score 3 runs in response in the bottom-half of the third frame on a 2-run double from Krieg that plated Kovash and Price before Jilek scored Krieg on a groundout to close out DHS's numbers for the night.

Price was 3-for-3 in the losing effort with a run and a stolen-base, while Kovash also had a multi-hit night with a double and 2 runs on 2-for-2 production and Krieg notched the double and 2 RBI with a run for his stat-line.

Next-up for the Midgets will be the regular-season-ending road-trip to face rivals Jamestown on Friday, May 17 with games beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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