Senior night sweep: Zubke, Dutchak carry Midgets to wins over Bismarck High
In their final games at home in Dickinson Midgets baseball uniforms, starting hurlers Dawson Dutchak and Chris Zubke pitched gems.
In the opener against Bismarck High, Zubke was credited with the victory after pitching six strong innings in the Midgets 6-4 comeback win. Dutchak tossed a four-hitter in game two as Dickinson completed the senior night sweep with a 8-1 triumph on Tuesday, May 8 from the Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark.
After a 1-7 start, Dickinson has now won five of their last eight games.
"We've been trying to get better as the year has gone along and I think tonight we played pretty complete games; defensively, offensively and then on the mound," Dickinson head coach Pete Dobitz said. "Our two guys Chris Zubke and Dawson Dutchak threw strikes very well. Morgan Wardner came in in the first game just to close it out. It all starts on the mound and when you are throwing strikes, the defense is better behind you."
Trailing 4-3 entering the sixth inning of game one, Zubke led off the frame with a ground ball single through the left side of the Demons' infield.
Sophomore shortstop Joseph Pavek followed with a deep fly ball to center-field. Positioned shallow in the outfield, Bismarck senior Kaide Gimbel raced back, but had the ball back off of his glove.
With runners now on second and third and no outs, Wardner put the Midgets up for good with a two-run RBI single down the third-base line. DHS added an insurance run later in the inning when an error scored freshman pinch runner Nathaniel Jilek.
"It still comes down to [situational hitting]," Dobitz said. "You got to be able to put the ball in play and basically clutch up a little bit when it's time to get some runs in from the bases."
Zubke contributed to the run support early with an RBI single as Dickinson scored three runs in the bottom of the first. He quickly moved through the first two innings, allowing only two base runners, before relinquishing two runs in the top of the third and fourth.
The senior right-hander regrouped, retiring the last seven Demons he faced, four of which by way of the strikeout.
"Extraordinary, it'll be something to remember forever." Zubke described his senior night performance.
Dutchak faced the minimum through three innings of work and retired nine in a row before running into trouble in the fourth. A walk and hit by pitch was followed by a RBI single from Bismarck junior Cole Richey.
The Demons had multiple baserunners in the fourth and the fifth, but only produced one run. Their bats were cold through much of the doubleheader, combining for eight total base hits.
"Things looked up a little bit during the first game. We fell behind 3-0 and then we battled back, which we've done before but so far this season, it's kind of been the same story where we struggle at the plate," Bismarck head coach Jim Patton said. "I don't think it's due to what we have as a skill set physically, I just think we out-think ourselves at the plate. ... Four hits for the most part in the West Region is not going to get it done; you're asking your pitcher to do an awful lot if you're only going to put four hits on the board and that's what happened to us tonight."
Dickinson smashed extra base hits in each of the first three innings off of Bismarck junior game two starter Will Madler. Aside from a scoreless fifth, the Midgets scored in every frame. Small-ball made an appearance as Dutchak and senior outfielder Colton Jones each dropped RBI sacrifice bunts in the second inning.
Aided by a double play in the top of the sixth, Dutchak swiftly moved through the final two innings, finishing off his complete game.
"Honestly, my pitching philosophy is to throw strikes and let the guys behind me do their job," Dutchak said. "I was just throwing strikes and we played clean tonight so we were making outs. It's was really cool because I know it's going to be the last time I throw on this mound and I put a lot of years in on this field. It was a great way to go out; to get a swept, to get a victory and have all my boys here. It was a great night."
Dickinson will have three more games on the road before the regional tournament later this month.
"We want to be able to execute. We got to be able to do the things that we do, steal bases, bunt, hit-and-run," Dobitz said. "We had a really good hit-and-run tonight. Executing with the squeeze and then we just have to find guys that are going to be consistently throwing strikes on the mound."
Dickinson 6, Bismarck 4
B 002 200 0 — 4 0 0
D 300 006 x — 6 0 0
B: Nate Burkhardsmeier (5.1), Alex Krug (0.2) and Shane Siverson. D: Chris Zubke (6), Morgan Wardner (1) and Tristen Brunk.
W—Zubke. L—Burkhardsmeier. HR—None.
Highlights: B: Siverson 1-3, RBI, R; Alex Krug 1-4, RBI. D: Zubke 2-3, RBI, R, 6 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 6 K; Joseph Pavek, 2-3, R.
Dickinson 9, Bismarck 1
B 000 100 0 — 1 7 2
D 121 203 x — 9 11 0
B: Will Madler (5) Nic Devine (1) and Shane Siverson. D: Dawson Dutchak (7) and Tristen Brunk.
W—Dutchak. L—Madler. HR—None.
Highlights: B: Siverson 2-3; Cole Richey 1-3, RBI. D: Cody Maier 3-4, 2B, 3 R. Jaren Hugelen, 3-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R; Morgan Wardner, 2-3, 3B, RBI, R.