Jul. 9—Normally, eight-inning baseball games don't take nearly five hours to complete, but two rain delays and extra innings had this matchup pushing for a midnight finish in Dickinson on Thursday.
It was worth the wait for those who withstood the rain delays, as Dickinson defeated Laurel 10-9 in walk-off fashion in extra innings. Landon Olson delivered the game-winning RBI-single, sending Isaac Daley home to score from second base.
"It felt amazing," Olson said. "I didn't want to do too much (at the plate). I was doing too much in the beginning of the count and I wanted to hit a line drive and it worked out."
It was quite the journey to get to this result. Before players could settle in and spectators could grab their first snack from the concession stand, storms rolled through Dickinson and delayed the game for nearly two hours.
It was in the bottom of the first inning when players were summoned back to their dugouts.
Perhaps the first rain delay got to the Roughriders, as they would allow five runs in the top of the second inning. Carson Weiler walked two batters with the bases loaded as Dickinson fell behind 2-0. Three more runs were scored off balls hit to the outfield as the Dodgers went in front 5-0.
"The rain delays are a weird thing," Dickinson head coach Tyler Frenzel said. "In the first inning we got runners on first and second with nobody out and got nothing out of it. They shift momentum and you just try to play through it."
Jadon Bast helped the Roughriders get back into the game with an RBI single in the third inning. The hosts trailed 5-2 at this point.
Weiler continued on the mound but found himself in trouble yet again, allowing a two-run triple in the fourth inning, which effectively knocked him out of the game.
Dickinson responded with two runs off the bat of Nathaniel Jilek in the bottom of the fourth, to put the score at 7-4 as more troublesome weather approached.
"We all just had to warm up again and it slowed down momentum," Olson said. "But then later it helped us out."
Another rain delay ensued, this time lasting about 20 minutes, but would prove to benefit the Roughriders this time around.
The game was called with Dickinson having runners on first and second. On the first pitch when play resumed, Frenzel called for a double steal, which was executed perfectly, and the Roughriders then had two runners in scoring position with one out and down three.
"We had them pinned down," Frenzel said. "We talked about it and decided we would do it on the first pitch."
This would spark a five-run rally after the delay to put up seven runs total in the inning to take a 9-7 lead. Riley O'Donnell's two-run triple capped off the rally for Dickinson.
Drew Kovash was on the mound after Weiler and was able to hold the lead after giving up two leadoff walks in the fifth inning. However, he would surrender the lead after giving up a home run in the sixth to Laurel's Richie Cortese, putting the score at 9-9.
Troy Berg made a nice defensive play in the same inning when he fielded a ground ball and threw out the lead runner at third base with one out. It ensured a potential sacrifice fly ball or base hit would not see the Roughriders fall behind.
Dickinson had a chance to end the game in the seventh after Jilek hustled to second base on a soft fly ball to center field, but Tory Berg grounded out in the next at-bat.
It was the only tournament game played at Dakota Community Bank & Trust on Thursday, as the other six teams will play their first games tomorrow. Dickinson will play in the last game of the day against Sturgis with the first pitch set for 8:30 p.m.