Blue Hawks Stay Alive in NSAA Conference Baseball Tournament with Win over Valley City State University

Blue Hawks Stay Alive in NSAA Conference Baseball Tournament with Win over Valley City State University

DICKINSON, N.D. - No. 6 seed Dickinson State continued its improbable run Sunday night at the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament, knocking off No. 3 seed Valley City State 6-5 in loser-out game.

Jacob Hignite hit a go-ahead 2-run double in the top of the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie, and the Blue Hawks turned a double play to end the game, holding on for the 6-5 win. 

Dickinson State (19-30) advances to play undefeated Mayville State in the championship series at 12 p.m. MT on Sunday. The Blue Hawks must beat Mayville twice to win the tournament. 

Valley City State (32-25) sees its season come to a close. Head coach Casey Olney's squad finishes the year with a school record 32 wins, and numerous other single-season school records. 

Sunday night's win was the third straight loser-out victory for Dickinson, which after losing in the opening round has rallied to eliminate No. 2 seed Jamestown, No. 5 seed Presentation College and now No. 6 seed Valley City State.

The Vikings opened the scoring in the first inning Sunday. After Anthony Necochea led off the bottom of the first with a triple, Jared Meiklejohn scored him on a sacrifice fly for an early 1-0. The Vikings extended the lead to 3-0 in the second inning

Mike Gershman and Tom Houdek opened the inning with singles. Gershman came in to score on a fielder's choice, and then another triple by Necochea scored Welinski for a 3-0 lead. 

The Blue Hawks answered with two runs in the top of the third, starting a string of six straight runs. Jordan Tescher hit a 1-out home run to make it 3-1, and Jeff VanCleave later scored Eric Seiler with an RBI single to cut the Viking lead to 3-2. 

Tescher again went deep with a solo home run in the top of the fifth, tying the game at 3-3. Eric Seiler almost followed with another blast, but VCSU's Mike Gershman leaped and robbed Seiler of a potential home run in right field, keeping the game at 3-3. 

Dickinson's Landon Briscoe opened the seventh with a leadoff double off Viking reliever Chad Leskiw. After a sacrifice bunt, the Vikings intentionally walked Tescher. Jaime Villarreal came in for Leskiw and on the first pitch Hignite laced a 2-run double to right center, giving the Blue Hawks a 5-3 lead. 

The Vikings loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning after two walks and a hit by pitch, but Dickinson starter TJ Pogreszewski got Tom Houdek to pop out to shallow center field, ending the threat. 

After allowing three runs in the first two innings, Pogreszewski settled down and went seven strong innings to pick up the win. He allowed just six hits and those three runs. 

Dickinson State added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Landon Briscoe opened the inning with a double and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Eric Seiler. That turned out to be a huge run for the Blue Hawks. 

The Vikings loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. Jared Meiklejohn reached first on an infield single, Joe Demers followed with a walk, and Jake Rambow singled to right center. Dickinson State went to reliever Eric Seiler, who struck out Nate Bagby for the first out. But Gershman followed with a 2-run single to right field to make it 6-5. 

With the tying run on third and the winning run on first, Seiler got Tom Houdek to hit a bouncer up the middle which shortstop Dylan Skabo picked up and stepped on second and fired to first, nabbing Houdek by a step for a game-ending double play. 

Seiler earned the save with his work in the ninth inning, making a winner out of Pogreszewski. 

Tescher hit two home runs to lead Dickinson's offense, and finished 2-for-2 with three runs and two RBIs. Landon Briscoe and Jeff VanCleave each had two hits, and Jacob Hignite had a pair of RBIs. 

Valley City State's offense was led by Gershmna, who went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Anthony Nechochea hit a pair of triples, scoring a run and driving in a run. Houdek had a pair of hits in the game, finished 2-for-5. Brandon Welinski and Jared Meiklejohn each had a hit, a run and an RBI. 

Valley City State freshman pitcher Andrew Hirsch started on the mound for the Vikings and gave them six strong innings, scattering eight hits and allowing three runs. Leskiw entered to start the seventh inning and took the loss. He allowed just one hit, but was charged with two runs in 2/3 of an inning. Jaime Villarreal then worked 2 1/3 innings in relief, giving up two hits and a run. 

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Dickinson State (N.D.) 0 0 2 0 1 0 2 0 1   6 11 2
Valley City State (N.D.) 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2   5 9 1
Dickinson State (N.D.) Valley City State (N.D.)
Player AB R H RBI PO A
L. BRISCOE 2B 5 1 2 0 1 4
D. SKABO SS 3 0 0 0 6 2
J. TESCHER LF 2 3 2 2 3 0
E. SEILER DH 4 2 1 1 0 0
J. HIGNITE 3B 5 0 1 2 0 5
J. VANCLEAVE 1B 4 0 2 1 10 0
R. RISSE C 3 0 1 0 1 0
S. BISSON PR 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. BURGARD RF 4 0 1 0 2 0
R. MITCHELL CF 4 0 1 0 4 0
T. POGROSZEWSKI P 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. ALLEN P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team            
Totals 34 6 11 6 27 11
Player AB R H RBI PO A
A. Necochea CF 5 1 2 1 3 0
J. Meiklejohn SS 4 1 1 1 2 4
J. Demers 1B 4 1 0 0 14 3
J. Rambow 2B 3 0 1 0 1 3
X. Padilla PR 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Bagby 3B 4 0 0 0 0 4
M. Gershman RF 4 1 2 2 1 0
T. Houdek DH 5 0 2 0 0 0
B. Welinski LF 4 1 1 1 1 0
B. Bruenjes C 3 0 0 0 3 0
T. Ukestad PR 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Hirsch P 0 0 0 0 2 0
C. Leskiw P 0 0 0 0 0 1
J. Villarreal P 0 0 0 0 0 1
Team            
Totals 36 5 9 5 27 16
E - DiSU(2): Hignite, Skabo, VCSU(1): Demers
DP - DiSU(2): Skabo, Vancleave, VCSU(4): Demers(2), Meiklejohn, Rambow LEFT - DiSU(8): Bisson, Burgard, Hignite, Mitchell, Seiler, Skabo, Tescher, Vancleave, VCSU(11): Bagby(2), Gershman, Necochea, Padilla, Rambow(3), Ukestad, Welinski(2)
2B - DiSU(5): Briscoe(2), Hignite, Risse, Seiler, VCSU(0) 3B - DiSU(0) VCSU(2): Necochea(2)
HR - DiSU(2): Tescher(2), VCSU(0)
SB - DiSU(0) VCSU(0) CS - DiSU(0) VCSU(0)
Dickinson State (N.D.) Valley City State (N.D.)
Player IP H R ER BB SO AB
T. POGROSZEWSKI 7.0 6 3 3 3 0 28
C. ALLEN 1.0 2 2 2 1 0 5
E. SEILER 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 3
Totals 9.0 9 5 5 4 1 36
Player IP H R ER BB SO AB
A. Hirsch 6.0 8 3 3 0 2 26
C. Leskiw 0.2 1 2 2 1 0 2
J. Villarreal 2.1 2 1 1 2 0 6
Totals 9.0 11 6 6 3 2 34

Winner - Pogroszewski, Taylor Loser - Leskiw, Chad Save - Seiler, Eric
WP - DiSU(0) VCSU(0) PB - DiSU(1): Risse, VCSU(0) BK - DiSU(0) VCSU(0)
HBP - DiSU(2): Pogroszewski(2), VCSU(1): Hirsch