May 27—As the weather in Dickinson continues to be wet and windy, the Badlands Big Sticks were unsure what the night had in store as they took to the field to defend their home turf against the Spearfish Sasquatch.
As gloomy as the skies were, so too was the final score in the second game of the season when the Big Sticks fell 3-5 in a game called for bad weather in the sixth.
Billy Tomblin, head coach of the Big Sticks, recognizes that the season is still young and the road ahead long as his pitchers adjust to new environs.
"It's just part of baseball. They are throwing in an environment that they haven't thrown in before. A mound they have never been on before, umpires they have never had before and trying to figure out zones," Tomblin said.
The Sasquatch picked up an early run in the first as the lead off batter, Ray Lozano, got on base and stole second. He would go the rest of the way after Ben Parker smashed a double giving Spearfish an early lead.
In the bottom, the Big Sticks were unable to capitalize as they would leave a runner stranded on third base.
Both teams settled in in the second, shutting down their competition and retiring the sides.
Badlands pitcher Casten Reed, of Mount Vernon Ala., was the gunslinger on the mound for the Big Sticks. The sophomore at Point University would record five K's throughout the game.
Spearfish would again gain momentum in the third, grabbing two more runs followed quickly by two more in the fourth — one of which would be free as a with bases loaded signaled early trouble for Reed.
The Big Sticks would prove tough at the behest of a wet but cheering crowd when they scored their first run at the hands of Max Martinez. Despite the pendulums swinging in favor of the Big Sticks, the Sasquatch would quickly shut the door after catching two attempted steals and ending the rally with a putout that left three runners stranded — a missed opportunity for the home team in a game seemingly heading for a rain delay.
"Casten Reed went out there and I thought he pitched really well for us and gave us an opportunity to win," Tomblin said. "We just didn't take care of business on the plate, had a lot of runners on base and just couldn't produce when we needed them too."
The Badlands with pressure mounting would rally for a third and final time scoring two runs in the fifth as Jakobe Smith would add an RBI to his stats following a single that brought Carson Lundmark across. Smith would make a daring move to third on an error from the Sasquatch pitcher who threw the ball over the third baseman.
Tomblin said he was happy with the performance Smith had in a showing that saw the young player garner his first homerun of the season and four RBIs.
With anticipation filling the stands and dugout, the Big Sticks seemed poised to rally for the lead when the umpires huddled centered diamond and called the game for poor field conditions — ending the night and bringing the Big Sticks to 0-2 early in the season.
"It's about the safety of the players, it's been raining since we got here this afternoon," Tomblin said. "I think we got as far into the game as we possibly could before somebody got hurt."
The final game of the series will be played in Spearfish as the Big Sticks hope to make necessary adjustments in an away stretch that begins at 6:35 p.m. Mountain Time.
"It's just part of the game and it's not something that we are overly concerned with or worried about. It is just something that Matt and Nick work on with the guys everyday, but we are going to be fine. I am not concerned about it," Tomblin said. "We will do the best we can to give a good product on the field and see what happens. It's not what we want, but it's just part of the game."