In a rematch of Breckenridge’s season opener, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton avenged a 4-3 loss with a 7-4 victory at Cowboy Field on Tuesday night. The score was tied 4-4 after four innings, but three late runs for the Rebels were enough to earn the season split.
DGF scored three runs in the first inning, taking advantage of an overthrown double-play ball and two seeing-eye singles to the outfield. Breckenridge answered with three runs of its own in the bottom half, highlighted by doubles from Mark Wermerskirchen and Gavin Snyder. Like Post 53, the Rebels also made a throwing error on a comebacker to the mound which extended the inning for Breckenridge.
“It’s good to see Mark get his stick going,” Coach Robert Wanek Jr. said. “He’s a fixture in the two-hole for us and he’s gone back-to-back games with hard contact and a couple hits. Gavin also did a nice job getting on top of the baseball on his double down the third base line.”
Fresh off a dominant outing vs. Aitkin, Peyton Christensen settled in after a rocky start, pitching 3.2 innings, walking one, and allowing one earned run. Also Breckenridge’s leadoff hitter, Christensen has hit safely in all four games to begin the summer, while leading his team in on base percentage.
“Peyton gives us a mixture of plate discipline, speed, and aggressiveness in the leadoff role,” Wanek Jr. said. “In the past he was a ground ball hitter with good wheels, but lately he’s been going deep into counts and elevating the ball a little bit as well.”
Wermerskirchen and Dallen Ernst finished the game in relief, showing some control issues, but ultimately keeping the home team in the ballgame.
“Mark was changing levels great, but he beaned a couple batters and the error bug bit us after that,” Wanek Jr. said. “We don’t shy away from pitching to contact and both of our relievers stuck to plan and didn’t let the game get out of hand. Dallen has been effective in relief so far and at 6’5” he gives hitters a difficult ball plane to square up.”
DGF took advantage of some soft flares that Post 53 pulled up on in the outfield and three hit batsmen to gain some wiggle room on the scoreboard. The Rebels turned to Kolton Wagner to pitch the final three innings. He neutralized the Post 53 offense and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.
“Wagner mowed us down in the fifth and sixth and that was really the difference,” Wanek Jr. said. “His quick slide step home resulted in a runner caught stealing and unfortunately we lost our spark after that and couldn’t respond until it was too late.”
Multiple Post 53 players made smart plays defensively, namely Griffin Bosse, Zane Mikkelson, and Dallen Ernst. Bosse dropped a shallow pop fly which drifted out to right field, but he grabbed the ball and threw a runner out at second base. Ernst made a hustling catch in foul territory at first base to begin the game and also dropped a dime to second base to catch a Rebel runner in the hot box.
Mikkelson was on point once again behind the plate, snapping the baseball around at will to keep DGF’s baserunners at bay.
“Zane has been willing to learn and isn’t afraid to attack runners in scoring position,” Wanek Jr. said. “We ask him to catch pretty much every game and he never complains, which sets a good example for our team.”
Bosse is a new addition to the Junior Legion lineup and he’s quietly been contributing over the past two games. He stole two bases against DGF and legged out a bunt single.
“Griffin will bat in a variety of spots for us. Today he was in the nine hole, tomorrow he might be batting leadoff, fifth, who knows,” Wanek Jr. said. “He gives us versatility because he can reach base by walk, error, hit, or bunt.”
Breckenridge (2-2) will host Wahpeton Jr. Legion on Friday at 7 p.m.
“Our more experienced players will be heading to Montevideo to support Post 53 Legion in their weekend tournament,” Wanek Jr. said. “This is a great opportunity for our reserves to get some well-deserved reps and to see what we have for pitching off the bench. All 16 of our guys want to be out there competing so we’re grateful to have this one scheduled.”