By Sam Herder
Mosquitos were out and about again Monday night in Roosevelt Park for the Devils Lake legion baseball game. The Storm showed their own peskiness on the diamond against Minot Jr.
By Sam Herder
Mosquitos were out and about again Monday night in Roosevelt Park for the Devils Lake legion baseball game. The Storm showed their own peskiness on the diamond against Minot Jr. After taking the first game of the doubleheader 10-7, DL made another valiant comeback effort in the nightcap. Behind 6-2 in the fifth, the Storm scored five runs to take the lead and another in the sixth. But Minot Jr. repelled DL and answered with three seventh inning runs to take the 9-8 win.
As agitated as the itchy fans were in the stands, coach Randy Ostermiller had mutual feelings following the game.
“I think we played really poorly,” Ostermiller said. “We gave away the second one, first one we were really lucky to win. We should not have won it the way we played. But that’s the youth coming out again.”
Facing a non-league team of 15 and 16-year-olds, Ostermiller threw four pitchers at Minot Jr in game one. The result was positive, with DL jumping out to a 7-3 lead in the third inning. The bats were hot in the run, highlighted by back-to-back doubles in the second by Noah Widmer and Joey Hornstein.
Landyn Swenson’s 2-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth seemed to be the dagger as the Storm took a 10-4 lead.
But Minot Jr. made a run, scoring three and loading the bases with just one out. Andrew Bertsch then decided to end it, making a diving catch on an infield blooper and gunning the runner out at second.
“That’s really nice. We have a lot of arms but they’re young,” Ostermiller said on his team’s pitching depth. “We got them in just for some game experience because we’ve been doing a lot of bullpen work and changing some fundamentals. So it’s time to get them in a game and see what they can do. They competed well.”
The second game saw the same dramatics as DL’s season opener against Bottineau. This time, the Storm fell on the wrong side of the win/loss column.
DL struggled to get the offense going against left-handed pitcher Paxten Wahlund. Minot Jr. held a 6-2 lead in the fifth inning. But Ryan Haahr gave a much-needed spark with a leadoff double. A couple hustle plays later and Haahr would cross home plate to start the rally.
Swenson, Bertsch and Zack Shepherd notched RBI hits and Shepherd would later score.
DL tacked on one more run the following inning with a Swenson sacrifice that scored Haahr.
Roles were reversed in the seventh, as Minot Jr. scored three runs to take the 9-8 lead. The Storm couldn’t get a rally going, dropping its first loss of the season in four games.
“The message was that we can’t continue to play like this when we go into league play,” Ostermiller said. “When we get up against the upper echelon teams, they’re going to blow us out if we play like we did. We need to mature quickly and come out ready to play.”
DL hosts Grafton at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in another doubleheader.
“Hopefully they need to show up focused,” Ostermiller said. “I could tell after the first two games that we won, the focus just seemed to disappear. And I think that’s one of the qualities of youth also, is they need to bring it every time.”