Dickinson State exits NSAA tournament with 10-5 loss
May 8—DICKINSON — Admittedly, it's difficult to beat a rival in consecutive games, much-less when those games happen in postseason-tournament play. But with a 10-5 loss versus Watford City's Mayville State University Comets, the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks have exited the North Star Athletic Association's postseason tournament after an admirable Sunday-nightcap performance that simply fell short.
The Blue Hawks will now have to watch Monday afternoon's NSAA final from the bleachers, as Mayville was set to play Dakota State at 11 a.m. in the tournament semifinals with the winner advancing to play the number-one-ranked Bellevue (Neb.) Bruins, who are undefeated so far in the postseason at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark, which has hosted the tournament since Friday of last week.
But it wasn't for a lack of effort, as the late game versus Mayville saw the Blue Hawks clawing and scratching for everything they could get. Amid that effort was a hitless opening three innings that saw seven fly- or line-outs that went almost straight into the gloves of various Comets fielders no matter where they were hit.
In the meantime, Mayville swatted seeing-eye-baseballs that landed on every safe patch of grass and found every hole in the defense available en route to an early 3-0 lead at the end of the first inning and a 4-run top-of-the-fourth inning that put DSU in an even deeper hole at 7-0. The Blue Hawks were able to scratch back a run in the bottom of the inning with a single by junior right-fielder Cade Ostenson and an errant throw on the next hit from Kaiden Reeve that scooted into right-field and allowed Ostenson to score while Reeve slid into third.
The threat was ended on the next at-bat in the fourth, but after Mayville added a pair of runs to make the score an insurmountable 9-1 Dickinson State benefited from a single by Dawson Cortese and a triple from Wyatt Wilharm that made the score 9-2.
Meanwhile, the Blue Hawks were able to feel some joy from a solo leadoff home-run from Jacob Clinton in the sixth and another dinger from the bat of DSU's player-of-the-tournament Dawson Cortese, which scored Keanu Calamayan and finished the senior third-baseman's night at 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and 2 RBI.
Dickinson State 5, Valley City State 2
With their backs to the wall and facing a "loser's out" game against the Valley City State University Vikings in the North Star Athletic Association postseason tournament, the Dickinson State Blue Hawks played with discipline and determination to advance to play Mayville State or Waldorf.
Neither the Blue Hawks nor Vikings were able to get a baserunner past first-base for the first four innings, and both teams were held hitless during that stretch. But in the top of the fifth — DSU was listed as the "visitors" on the scoreboard — the Blue Hawks went on a little 2-out rally with catcher Kaiden Reeve walking and Jacob Clinton singling him over to second base. At the top of the order, Keanu Calamayan drove a shot to left-center past the centerfielder and to the wall for a triple that scored pinch-runner Nathaniel Jilek and Clinton for a 2-0 advantage. Calamayan scored on the next at-bat from an error by the Valley State shortstop that landed Alberto Nieto on first and the inning ended with DSU in the driver's seat at 3-0.
"We didn't stress, we didn't press and it was a really close ballgame for awhile," DSU manager Mike Dahl said. "It just took one or two good swings in the end, and that's all that mattered."
Both teams shut each other down in the sixth, but the Blue Hawks were able to pad their lead in the top of the seventh on a walk for Reeve and a sacrifice bunt from Clinton that actually was close at first-base. Calamayan also walked and both he and pinch-runner Jilek scored on a double to left off the bat of Dawson Cortese, who also was responsible for the late heroics during the opening round win over Mayville State.
The Vikings managed close the gap some in the bottom of the inning off a 2-run dinger from Zach Venneman, and there was some minor controversy when first-baseman Ryan Reynolds bumped into the umpire while rounding third-base and attempting to score off a double from Tory Nelson. But umpire interference wasn't cited in the case and Gabe Lundbeck came on to close out the game with a strikeout and a 3-up/3-down final frame.
"Obviously, Trench Richter pitched a heck of a game," Dahl said. "To go out there and not give up any hits and continue to get outs ...
Bellevue 7, DSU 3
In Saturday's afternoon loss, two swings of the bat eventually undid what was a tight game through 5 innings for the Blue Hawks in round two of the tournament, after DSU won their opener on Friday over Mayville State. Dickinson State and Bellevue each traded blows in the early going on Saturday, with Bellevue scoring a run in each of the first two innings, while the Blue Hawks responded in the bottom of the second with a double from Derrick Calvillo that plated Mathias Dufner and Nieto to even the game at 2.
The teams drifted into a deadlock for the next three frames before Bellevue right-fielder Anthony Lind reached on an error — one of four in the game for DSU — and he was subsequently scored on a homer from left-fielder Jake Lacey to give the Bruins a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth.
DSU cut into that lead in the bottom of the inning on a Dawson Cortese double to right field that was followed by a Wyatt Wilharm ground-out that moved Cortese over to third and eventually he crossed the plate on Cade Ostenson's ground-out on the next at-bat.
But that proved to be all-she-wrote, as Logan Grant drilled a two-run homer in the top of the seventh that scored Drew Staley and Lind scored again, this time on a single from Mathieu Sirois that put the game out of reach at 7-3 and sent DSU to the loser's bracket.
That said, DSU pitcher Brannan Hogan put in the yeoman's work on the mound with 9Ks and he only was charged with 3 of the 7 runs as earned.
"We said in the clubhouse last night after we lost that we beat ourselves," Dahl added. "We definitely beat ourselves and they didn't beat us. So, that gives us more confidence going into today."
For more information about the Dickinson State Blue Hawks baseball team, please keep reading The Dickinson Press and/or visit
Sunday's 7 p.m. game:
MSU 300 420 100 — 10 14 2
DSU 000 111 200 — 5 8 2
2B — Wyatt Wilharm. HR — Dawson Cortese, Jacob Clinton. RBI — D. Cortese (2), Wilharm, Clinton. SB — Clinton.
Lerma — 3.1IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 0K
Koronka — 1.2IP, 2H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
Van Luchene — 2IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
Lundbeck — .1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 1K
Kazmirinski — 1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
Sunday, 9 a.m. Game
DSU 000 030 200 — 5 3 1
VCSU 000 000 200 — 2 2 1
2B — D. Cortese. 3B — Keanu Calamayan. RBI — Calamayan (2), Alberto Nieto, Dawson Cortese (2). Sac — R. Cortese, Jacob Clinton
Trent Richter — 7IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K
R. Cortese — 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
Gabe Lundbeck — 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
Bellevue 110 002 300 — 7 7 0
DSU 020 001 000 — 3 9 4
2B — Dawson Cortese, Richie Cortese. RBI — Derrick Calvill0 (2), Cade Ostenson
Brannan Hogan — 8.1IP, 7H, 7R, 3ER, 2BB, 9K
John Koronka — .2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K