DICKINSON, N.D. – The Blue Hawks split their two games on Thursday (Feb. 27) against McPherson College and Central Christian College. Dickinson State picked up a win over McPherson , 8-7, in game one and fell in extra innings to Central Christian, 5-4, in game two. The Blue Hawks have an overall record of 3-5.
Chas Allen got the start for the Blue Hawks and faced off against Tyler Lambert for McPherson in game one.
Dickinson State got things going early on in the first. Joe Binstock led off with a walk and was pushed to third by a single from Caleb Burgard. Jordan Tescher walked to load the bases and Lambert found himself in a heap of trouble. Lambert struggled to find control and was chased from the game after he walked in a run with a free pass to Eric Contreras.
Brant Rhoades entered the game with bases loaded and no outs in the top of the first. He gotJeff VanCleave to ground into a fielder's choice, but Burgard came in to score and Contreras was retired at second. He then got Chris Mjelstad to ground to short, but it was another productive out for the Blue Hawks as Tescher scored. After a half inning Dickinson State had a 3-0 lead.
A trio of singles from VanCleave, Ryan Risse, and Thad Lane set the stage in the top of the third for the Blue Hawks to open the scoring again. A two out single from Binstock to left field plated both VanCleave and Risse. The Blue Hawks now led 5-1.
In the fourth inning both sides put up a crooked number. Tescher led off with a double and Contreras drove him in with a single down the left field line. Rhoades was lifted for Keegan Hays as McPherson tried to put out the fire. The first batter he faced, VanCleave, singled to right to put runners on first and second. Mjelstad laid down a sacrifice bunt for the inning's first out, but the runners advanced. Risse grounded to short for a productive out that plated Contreras. Lane doubled down the line with two outs to drive in VanCleave, giving Dickinson State an 8-1 advantage.
McPherson wouldn't go quietly and mounted a five run inning in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back singles put runners on first and second, before a double steal put both runners in scoring position. Zach Wilson singled to plate both. Taylor Werts laid down a bunt, which brought in Wilson, and an errant throw allowed him to advance to third. Allen was lifted forTaylor Kraenzel. Wilson scored on a balk to make the game 8-4. Josh Grant singled to left and was followed by Bennett Ratzloff who laid down a sacrifice bunt. Grant stole third and scored on the errant throw. With one out Ian Anderson came on in relief. Anderson got Jordan Slaton and Jose Nossa to pop out and averted anymore damage.
McPherson would add one more in the sixth inning to bring the game within one. In the bottom of the seventh McPherson loaded the bases, but Anderson got Ratzloff to strike out swinging to end the game.
Allen (1-0) went three innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits. He recorded three strikeouts in his first win of the season. Anderson recorded his first save of the season in non-traditional fashion. He went 3.2 innings, allowed one run, and struck out three.
Binstock went 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs batted in. Contreras was 1-for-3 with two runs driven in. VanCleave, Mjelstad, Risse, and Lane each had a RBI. Lane was 3-for-3.
In the second game, Dickinson State went to extras before falling to Central Christian.
For the second time in the day the Blue Hawks jumped out to an early lead. Binstock picked up a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Contreras.
In the bottom of the third Dickinson State struck again. Tescher coaxed a one out walk and Contreras took the first offering he saw over the fence in left. The Blue Hawks had a 3-0 advantage.
Austin Taft came around to score in the fourth on a double from Tescher to put Dickinson State up 4-0.
Central Christian got on the board for the first time in the top of the fifth when Clayton Lacher singled home Martin Guevara.
A pair of errors and a walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Nicholas Campos reached on a fielder's choice and brought Michael Barnhart in to score. A balk plated the Tigers' second run. Jordan Yussman was then lifted for Brendan Hardaway. A wild pitch brought home Campos, before Hardaway got Daniel Padilla to ground into an inning-ending double play. The Tigers tied the game up at 4-4.
The game remained at 4-4 until the top of the eighth. A one out single from Tyler Gniadek set the table. He advanced to second on an errant throw and was singled home by Campos to give Central Christian a 5-4 lead.
Doug Gove went a complete game for the Tigers and earned the win. Gove allowed four runs, on six hits, and struck out three. Yussman (0-1) got the start for Dickinson State and went 5.1 innings. He allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits. Yussman struck out six hitters. Hardaway (0-2: BS, 2) was charged with the loss. He went 2.2 innings and surrendered just one run on two hits.
Six different Blue Hawk hitters had a hit. Contreras drove in three runs, while Tescher plated one.
Dickinson State will be back on the field Saturday (Mar. 8) when they play Doane College in a double header. First pitch is scheduled for noon.