Metros sweep Senators, improve record to .500

The Minot Metros’ return to Corbett Field on Tuesday conincided with the team’s return to the crisp execution coach Jason Steele expects of his bunch.

After an error-filled weekend in Bismarck that resulted in a 1-3 trip, the Metros swept the Bismarck Senators while committing just three errors in the doubleheader. Minot won game one 11-1 in five innings and game two 7-2 in seven. The contests were the first the Metros have played at Corbett since the 2011 flood.

“Mental mistakes that we had in Bismarck, we just erased those and played a good baseball game today,” Vistas outfielder Hunter Duttenhefer said.

Trever Ringoen set the tone for the Metros, establishing his curveball early in game one to keep Bismarck’s hitters on their heels.

“He was hitting his spots,” Steele said. “He was keeping them off balance and keeping them guessing, so that was good. We made good plays behind him and it just kind of snowballed from there. All the sudden we started getting some confidence and it carried over to the plate.”

The Metros (6-6) got plenty of help. Bismarck starter Jack Gasper walked five and plunked two in 12/3 innings, handing Minot a 4-0 lead before the Metros recorded a hit.

And once pitches began hitting the strike zone, the Metros locked in. Travis Walter, Cody Reynolds and Alex Arrayan each tallied two of the team’s nine hits.

“We were getting ourselves into hitter’s counts and we were swinging the bat when we saw our pitch,” Steele said. “We were just putting the baseball in play, driving guys in and moving guys over – doing all the little things right at the plate that we haven’t been.”

Ringoen tossed all five innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out four.

In game two, Minot scored all of its runs in the first two innings before Coleton Ford pitched four innings of no-hit relief for Bismarck (4-15).

Bismarck coach Erik Peterson blamed his team’s poor defense for letting the games get out of hand. The Senators committed 10 errors total, including five in the first two innings of game two.

“A couple of hits there and we might get hot, we might get rolling,” Peterson said. “We just really need to focus on defense. The last few games we’ve been really struggling defensively.”

Duttenhefer was a catalyst from the leadoff spot in game two, reaching first base on all four of his plate appearances and swiping second each time.

“When our leadoff guy gets on and we can get him over to two somehow and the guys behind him can get him in,” Steele said, “that’s just a big boost of confidence to get on the board early.”

Reynolds earned the win in game two, giving up five hits and two runs in six innings.

The Metros travel to Mandan today for a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s just a good feeling getting two wins,” Duttenhefer said. “We need to get two wins (at Mandan) to get above .500 and keep rolling after that.”