Jun. 29—It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Dickinson as the Big Sticks took on the Mining City Tommyknockers for the third time at home. With two wins, the Badlands set their sights on sweeping the series, which they were able to achieve with a shutout game, 8-0.
Though the losing team had at least one runner on base in each of the first eight innings, they were never able to create any traction with Josh Tucker, Brady Salyards and Colin Smith on the mound. In Tucker’s five innings, he struck out seven hitters and had a 3.03 ERA.
Salyards came out of the bullpen with two strikeouts in the sixth. In his three innings he had a single hit and walked only two opponents. Smith came in as the closer in the eighth and did just that, with five strikeouts and one walk in two innings.
Joe Osborn hit deep as the lead-off hitter, but unlike the first two games came up short of a home run with a flyout. Ryan Stafford singled from a 1-0 count. Carson Lundmark had Stafford sliding into third after hitting a line drive down the center between second basemen and the shortstop.
Lundmark wouldn’t get to travel to second after a fielder choice was hit by Angel De La Cruz, but Stafford was the first to cross home plate after Derek Gellos singled. De La Cruz and Gellos scored from Travis Ray Jr. a two-run double hitting down the middle.
“When you get a good pitch to hit, you get a good swing off, it tends to leave the yard, so go up there and compete at the plate,” head coach Billy Tomblin said. “That’s the message every day, and that is going to continue to be the message, and the guys definitely did that today.”
Osborn got a homer in the second, meaning he has had a home run in every game in this series and now leads his team with seven home runs.
The next series of runs would come in the fifth, starting with an RBI from De La Cruz that was then brought in himself by Gellos. Alex Thurston walked with the bases loaded for the final run of the inning
Right after the seventh-inning stretch, Matt Olive would score the last run of the game, taking advantage of a passed ball.
Tucker was the winning pitcher of the game, and Ray was the player of the game.
The Big Sticks are back on the bus to finish their three-game series against the Spearfish Sasquatch. Badlands already has the advantage of winning the first two games and being on a nine-game winning streak, though Spearfish is on a two-game winning streak themselves.
“Right now we are riding the hot train and hopefully we can keep riding that for a while, but again, like I said the other day, ‘All streaks come to an end.’ We are going to lose at some point, and whenever that happens the big question for me is how are we going to respond.”