Beulah blasts off

The Minot Metros entered the fifth inning of Wednesday’s American Legion doubleheader nightcap hoping to avoid being swept by Class A Beulah.

With the game tied at five, their aspirations were soon deemed impractical as the Cyclones ripped seven hits – including two doubles – en route to 11 runs and a 16-5 final score at Corbett Field.

Beulah also took the opener 10-6, giving the Cyclones a 5-1 mark since the holiday weekend.

Amid the Beulah onslaught, all Minot coach Jason Steele could do was stand and watch.

“It was frustrating,” Steele said. “We’ve been playing a lot of baseball. We’re tired, I get that, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse. It just seemed like anytime we had a chance to get outs, we weren’t focused, we weren’t ready, we weren’t expecting the baseball, and it just kind of snowballed on us.”

The Metros committed seven errors, three of which came in the fifth inning of Game 2.

Minot’s combined pitching staff was roughed up to the tune of 22 runs – 17 earned – on 25 hits and 11 walks.

“They drove the baseball. They had a good approach at the plate, and I didn’t think that we did,” Steele said. “We’ve gotta learn how to put seven innings of baseball together, or five if that’s the case. We gotta play an entire game, and we’ve gotta be focused at the plate and in the field. We just didn’t put it all together today, and it was frustrating.”

Minot still had its bright moments throughout the series.

After a one-sided effort through the first six innings of the opener, the Metros plated four in the seventh on the back of a two-run triple from Jesse Roberts.

Trailing by three in the nightcap, two hits and two Beulah errors tied things up at five for Minot.

But troublesome moments outweighed the good for the Metros, and the Cyclones were simply too hot to handle.

“I think we were just more patient, got our pitches and drove the ball hard,” Beulah coach Ryan Bodell said. “(The Metros) a better team than what they showed today. We’ve been playing well lately, especially on defense.”

Minot’s Eli Stewart, who pitched two innings in the opener, surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits during Beulah’s 11-run fifth.

After four straight Cyclones reached base with singles, Landon Battest drove a two-run double over the head of Minot center fielder Conor Taney. Still with no outs, a pair of Minot errors kept Beulah’s threat alive.

Two batters later, still with no outs and the bases loaded, Beulah third baseman Devin Sardelli sent a sharp drive to the wall in right-center for a three-run double. He later scored on Minot’s third error of the inning.

“Tonight, it just wasn’t there,” Steele said. “There were little spurts where we saw things that we’ve been working on that we did better. But we fell asleep, got a little lackidasical at times, and it hurt us.”

The Metros have today’s practice to recooperate before welcoming Fargo Post 400 to Corbett Field for a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.

Joe Mellenbruch covers Legion baseball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.