Devils Lake responds well against the Flyers in game two after a 15-0 rout.
After a forgettable performance in the first game against Hatton in game one, Devils Lake head coach Tyler Mund was looking for his team to respond.
The B-Legion Flyers beat up on the Storm to start things off, thanks in large part to a six-inning, shutout performance from Hatton pitcher Greg Thompson that saw Devils Lake fall victim to the 10-run rule and a 15-0 final scoreline.
But that didn’t stop the Storm from coming back in game two as they responded with a 9-7 victory of their own, their fifth of the season.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Mund said. “They came in ready to play and did some good things. And especially with tournament time coming up next, I’m pretty happy with the way we’re playing.”
Mund will hope that his players can maintain the type of effort they put into the second game of the Hatton doubleheader, because if the state tournament goes the way that game one did, their time there will be short lived.
Hatton only led 2-0 after three full innings, but pitching and defense, traditionally the hallmark of a successful team, became the Storm’s downfall as they proceeded to give up 13 additional runs over the game’s final three innings. Seven of those 13 runs were scored in the sixth inning alone, capped by a three-run homerun from Thompson.
According to Hatton head coach Chris Strand, Thompson has shown vast improvemet as he’s gotten older and is now one of the catalysts to the Flyers’ success.
“He’s one of those guys the past few years that’s always been able to hit the ball well to right, but now he’s able to drive the ball to left,” Strand said. “When he’s rolling, then we go. That’s how it’s been for us.”
Thompson himself admits that his performance on the mound in game one was his best of the season.
“My fastball was really working for me,” he said. “It seemed like they were always behind it. That and mixing things up with my curveball seemed to keep them guessing.”
Whether or not his pitching kept the Storm “guessing,” it certainly kept them scoreless, but Devils Lake came out ready to play in game two.
Things didn’t look great for the Storm right away as Hatton jumped out with another early lead after two full innings. The Flyers led 5-1 heading into the bottom of the third, but then something happened that didn’t occur in the first game: Devils Lake punched back.
Thanks to some aggressive baserunning and timely hitting, the Storm pulled the score back to make it 5-4 after the third, an inning capped by a two-RBI single from catcher Zac Sundre.
After holding the Flyers scoreless in the fourth, Devils Lake stepped up to the plate looking to take the lead, and they did just that.
Devils Lake pitcher James Olson started things off with a sharp groundball through the infield that gave his team a 6-5lead. Lance Anderson immediately followed that up with an RBI double to deep left field to stretch the Storm’s lead to 7-5.
Devils Lake would make it 9-5 before it was all said and done, a lead that Hatton could not overcome as the final score ended 9-7.
Now the Storm prepare to travel to Bismarck for a doubleheader Thursday evening and then to Fargo on Friday.
The team will have two more home doubleheaders next week before heading out to Dickinson to compete in the Senior Babe Ruth tournament that weekend.
Follow Joe Mellenbruch on Twitter @Journal_Joe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org