The Minot Metros showed up at Jack Hoeven Park on Tuesday for their first games after a six-day layoff.
But the Metros’ effort didn’t make the trip, according to coach Jason Steele.
Dickinson’s American Legion ‘B’ team – the Volunteers – handled the junior Legion Metros 6-3 in the first game of the doubleheader, with four Metros baserunners getting picked off or caught stealing. Dickinson won game two 12-2 in five innings as a second-inning walkfest put Minot in an 8-0 hole.
“I don’t think we were ready to play today for whatever reason,” Steele said. “If you’re not gonna give 100-percent effort, you’re not gonna win very many games in this league. I’m extremely disappointed in the effort, I’m extremely disappointed in the outcome.”
Both teams tallied eight hits apiece in game one, but Dickinson starter Dylan Wallner worked through jams and Minot’s baserunning miscues killed multiple rally opportunities.
“That’s just unacceptable,” Steele said. “We have to be better on the bases. We have to be smarter, more disciplined.”
The Volunteers (14-20) scored two runs in the first inning on three singles and added four more in the third with the aid of two walks. Wallner led off with a double and Andrew Heckaman had the big hit in the inning with a two-run single to left.
The cushion was enough for the soft-throwing lefty Wallner, who the Metros couldn’t quite solve.
“He has this split-finger that’s just nasty,” said Dickinson coach Jacob Nelson, whose team has won five in a row. “It moves everywhere. He’s not overpowering with the fastball but he’s got that split-finger that’s enough to keep ’em guessing.”
Said Steele: “He kept us off balance, but we didn’t have a good approach either. We were diving out over baseballs, we weren’t swinging at our pitches.”
Trever Ringoen went 2 for 3 and was the lone Metro with multiple hits in game one.
In game two, the Volunteers grabbed an 8-0 lead after two innings thanks to the wildness of Minot starter Travis Walker. After allowing a single to lead off the second, Walker walked the next five batters all of whom came around to score in a seven-run inning.
Heckaman pitched four scoreless innings for the win and reliever Lucas Jones recorded the final three outs.
Brock Messer went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for Dickinson and Heckaman batted 2 for 2 with a walk. Braden Lach, Alex Arrayan and Conor Taney had two singles apiece to pace Minot (12-14).
The Metros host Mandan at 5:30 tonight at Corbett Field, and Steele is hoping for more pep from his squad.
“We can’t continue to dig ourselves in a hole and think that we can make it out every time,” he said. “We have to learn that we need to jump on teams better than we do, we gotta come out of the gates hotter than we are. We have to be ready to compete and ready to play right away.”
Daniel Allar reports on Minot State University athletics and assists with high school and Legion coverage. Follow him on Twitter