Riley Bullington, shown here during the Wayne Hauschild Memorial Wood Bat Tournament, finished 4-for-6 at the plate and drove in a run in the Bandits’ season-ending 12-5 loss to Omaha on Saturday at the American Legion Central Plains Tournament in Dickinson, N.D. Troy Maroney/Register file photo
• Dickinson, Omaha meet today for chance to take on defending national champion Eden Prairie for right to advance to World Series
DICKINSON, N.D. – Omaha came out of the starting gate with a vengenance – scoring five runs on five hits in the first inning against Bandit starter Corey Roach – en route to a 12-5 elimination-game win at the American Legion Central Plains Regional on Saturday at Astoria Field in Dickinson, N.D.
Brookings scored a pair of runs in the second and a lone run in the third to cut the deficit to two runs, 5-3, but the Nebraska state champions put up seven runs through the middle innings to stay alive in the tournament and send the Bandits packing.
The game was interrupted twice by rain delays – the first for 15 minutes and the second was almost 2 1/2 hours – but neither slowed down Omaha as they improved to 45-8 and advanced to face Edina on Sunday.
Konner Beste led off the second inning with a base hit to center field and moved to third base on Thomas McMacken’s double to right centerfield.
Beste scored on McMacken advanced to third on a wild pitch by Omaha starter Adam Wilson before Riley Bullington’s single up the middle plated McMacken.
In the third, Kelby Beste led off with a walk before being forced out at second base by Landon Busch’s fielder’s choice.
Konner Beste reached on an error as Busch reached second base before McMacken loaded the bases when he was awarded first on catcher’s interference.
Matt Pejsa’s single to center field scored Busch but the Bandits stranded two runners when Beste was ruled out for leaving third early on Austin Koenig’s flyball out to right field.
“When we got down early, it would have been so easy – running out of pitching, guys arms are tired – but we kept fighting,” Brookings head coach Rob Hirrschoff said in a postgame interview. “That’s been a trademark of our team all year, keep battling and playing hard until the last out is played.”
Brookings added a single run in the fifth when McMacken got on base thanks to an Omaha fielding error after one was out. Base hits by Pejsa and Bullington sandwiched around a flyball out to center field, loaded the bases.
McMacken scored on when Skyler Cary reached base on an Omaha throwing error, but Post 74 left the bases loaded when Matt Thomas flew out to left field for the third out.
A pair of Omaha throwing errors led to the Bandits’ final run of the game.
After one out, Roach singled and advanced to second on the first throwing error of the inning. Omaha earned the second out when Busch flew out to right field, but Roach scored on the next play when the third baseman made the second throwing error of the inning, which allowed Konner Beste to reach first where he was stranded after a strikeout ended the frame.
Roach was saddled with the loss as he gave up nine hits and eight earned runs over the first four innings. He struck out two and walked two before Cary came on in the fifth.
Nick Ramsey earned the win in relief of Wilson as he went the last 6 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and struck out four.
Riley Bullington finished 4-of-6 at the plate with an RBI, while Pejsa and Konner Beste each went 2-for-5 with one run batted in as the Bandits finished their season with a 43-12 record.
Omaha 12, Brookings 5
Omaha 500 241 000 – 12 11 7
Brookings 021 010 010 – 5 11 3
Adam Wilson, Nick Ramsey (3) and Mike Emodi; Corey Roach, Skyler Cary (5) and Austin Koenig. W – Ramsey. L – Roach. 2B: O – Kevin Connolly. 3B: O – Evan Ryan.
By: Royal McGregor
The Dickinson Press
• Dickinson 6, Eden Prairie 5 (10 innings)
Taylor Kraenzel drove in four runs – including a two-run homer in the second and the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th – as the Roughriders defeated defending Legion World Series champion Eden Prairie (Minn.) 6-5 in 10 innings at the Central Plains Regional Tournament and staved off elimination for the third straight game on Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark.
Eden Prairie (33-12), which suffered its first loss in the tournament, has already claimed a spot in the championship game. But its opponent for the game scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday will be decided at noon when Dickinson (18-28), the tournament host which entered as the North Dakota Class A state tournament’s bottom seed, faces Nebraska state champion Omaha (Neb.) PI Midwest.
Eden Prairie – the back-to-back Central Plains Regional champions – came into the game without losing at Southside the last two years and had only lost once at the last three Central Plains Regionals.
Dickinson’s got heroic performances from Kraenzel, center fielder Brett Braunagel and pitcher Mason Schiff.
Kraenzel connected with a two-run home run after Eden Prairie scored three runs in the first inning, which was capped by a two-run single from University of Minnesota recruit Jordan Smith.
Braunagel scored the Roughriders’ first run on a wild pitch to Kraenzel by Eden Prairie starting pitcher Miles Nablo.
Eden Prairie didn’t falter. It proceeded to score two more runs on a Logan Borg RBI bunt single and a Cody Wetmore RBI sacrifice fly.
Dickinson wasn’t going away that easily though.
Braunagel turned on a pitch and ripped a RBI triple to deep left center and Kraenzel drove in Braunagel on a RBI groundout.
After the five-run explosion by both teams, the bats settled down and pitching took over. Alex Huschka started for Dickinson, throwing five innings and allowing five runs on eight hits.
When the sixth inning started, Schiff took over. He came through for the Roughriders as he earned the win by going five innings, allowing two hits and no runs.
It wasn’t until the 10th when Kraenzel become the icon of the game again.
He ripped a RBI single to center field, scoring James Kary from third base.
Dickinson 6, Eden Prairie 5 (10 innings)
Dickinson 032 000 000 1 – 6 11 1
Eden Prairie 320 000 000 0 – 5 10 1
Alex Huschka, Mason Schiff (6) and Brady Dutchak. Miles Nablo, Ryan Zimmerman (7) and Danny Halloran, Jack Graen. W – Schiff. L – Zimmerman. HR: D – Taylor Kraenzel.
•n Omaha 25, Edina 1
On Sunday, Omaha (Neb.) PI Midwest was hot at the Central Plains Regional Tournament. Edina, Minn., was not.
Nebraska state champion Omaha racked up two 10-run innings in the third and seventh to defeat Minnesota state champion Edina 25-1 in seven innings in a American Legion baseball loser-out game.
The Blue Jays (47-8) used 24 hits and six Edina errors to accumulate the massive amount of run support for starting pitcher Taylor Elman. The Creighton University baseball recruit threw seven innings, allowing one run and striking out five.
Elman was no slouch at the plate, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs and scoring two runs. Evan Ryan added four hits, four RBIs and scored four runs. Kevin Connolly, who is signed to play baseball at Notre Dame, went a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and scored four runs.
Omaha got firepower from pinch hitters Alex Meisenbach and Adam Wilson. Meisenbach pinch-hit for Zach Garrett and launched a three-run home run over the left field fence. Wilson went 2-for-2, with a RBI and two runs.
Other solid offensive performances for Omaha were Jon Hechtner with three hits and scored three runs; Scott Huber went 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs; and Cale Dineen went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
Edina, which ended its season at 43-8, scored its only run in the first inning on a Nick Denn RBI single. Nick Omodt scored on the play. Omodt, who had a solid Central Plains Regional Tournament, finished the day with going 3-for-4 at the plate.
Harrison Egly was charged with the loss, going 2 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs, and two earned runs on four hits. The Hornets had five pitchers throw seven innings.
Omaha 25, Edina 1
Omaha 21(10) 200 (10) – 25 24 2
Edina 10 0 000 0 – 1 10 6
Taylor Elman and Billy Lipari and Mike Emodi. Harrison Egly, John Connell (3), Geoff Fisher (5), Joe Doran (7) and Nick Denn. W – Elman. L – Egly. HR: O – Kevin Connolly, Alex Meisenbach.
• Eden Prairie 8, Edina 6
Two things can happen when Minnesota American Legion baseball teams as familiar as Eden Prairie and Edina play each other.
It will either be a pitching duel or a hitting parade.
This time it was an offensive showdown at the Central Plains Regional Tournament.
Minnesota state runner-up Eden Prairie used a five-run third inning to defeat Minnesota state champion Edina 8-6 in the quarterfinal game between two teams without a loss on Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark. The game began Saturday night and ended Sunday morning.
Eden Prairie broke the game open in the third inning when Michael Blauert, Cody Wetmore and Luke Lind all ripped RBI singles. The biggest hit in the inning was when University of Minnesota recruit Jordan Smith tattooed a two-RBI double to the right-field fence. Lind had three hits and three RBIs, while Smith had a pair of hits and two RBIs.
After the five-run inning, Eden Prairie, the 2011 American Legion World Series champions and back-to-back Central Plains Regional champions, held a 6-2 lead. However, Edina (40-7) had more to say.
Despite the two-run fourth inning by the Hornets, Eden Prairie (33-11) answered the call whenever a clutch hit was needed. Lind tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning with a solo home run, clearing the scoreboard in right field.
Edina put together its own threats in the eighth and ninth innings, but winning pitcher Corey Binger was able to work in and out of jams through eight innings. He allowed five runs and struck out four. Dan Loats closed out the game for Eden Prairie, allowing one run and picked off Edina's Nick Omodt on a double move from third to first to end the game.
Matt Hopfner, Edina's starting pitcher, threw a complete game and allowed eight runs. Mark Handberg supplied three hits, a RBI and scored two runs. Omodt added two hits, a RBI and scored two runs.
Eden Prairie 8, Edina 6
Eden Prairie 015 010 010 – 8 9 1
Edina 110 200 011 – 6 11 0
Corey Binger, Dan Loats (9) and Danny Halloran. Matt Hopfner and Nick Denn. W – Binger. L – Hopfner. HR: EP – Luke Lind.
• Dickinson 5, Papillion 1
The Dickinson Roughriders’ Cinderella story continues at the Central Plains Regional Tournament.
Led by Korey Kallenbach’s magnificent performance on the mound, the Roughriders claimed a 5-1 victory over Papillion (Neb.) Pinnacle Bank in the loser-out round of the American Legion baseball tournament on Saturday afternoon on Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark.
Kallenbach pitched a nine-inning complete game, allowing one run on two hits and one walk. The one of three Dickinson captains needed less than 90 pitches in the win.
The big defensive plays for Dickinson came in the seventh inning when Luke Herauf laid out for Matt Safranek’s sharp groundball. Herauf back-handed the ball and made a strong throw to first to throw out Safranek. Then to end the inning, Taylor Kraenzel made a diving catch to rob Matt Gay of an extra-base, run-scoring hit.
Dickinson’s Dylan Skabo went 4-for-5 and scored two runs. But his efforts were just as valuable in the field at shortstop. The biggest beneficiary of Skabo getting on base was Mark Erickson. The catcher went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored.
Papillion, which ended its season with a 46-11 record, scored the first run of the game in the second inning when leadoff hitter Jake Placzek drove in Matt Young on a double. That was the only run Papillion could muster against Kallenbach and the Roughriders.
The Roughriders responded in the top of the third inning with when Erickson laid down a RBI sacrifice bunt to drive in Alex Huschka.
Erickson supplied a two-run single in the fifth that scored Cole Anderson and Skabo, who each got on via singles.
Dickinson finished the scoring by tacking on two insurance runs in the seventh inning. James Kary stayed patient at the plate for a bases-loaded walk. Braunagel followed with a RBI single.
Placzek led Papillion, going 2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base. Cole Baker was charged with the loss, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and three strikeouts.
Dickinson 5, Papillion 1
Dickinson 001 020 200 – 5 10 4
Papillion 010 000 000 – 1 4 2
Korey Kallenbach and Mark Erickson. Cole Baker, Geoffrey Birkemeier (7) and Joseph Ludemann. W – Kallenbach. L – Baker.