Jul. 18—The Big Sticks could not find the groove of things Saturday night against the Canyon County Spuds as they failed to collect any runs in the nine innings. The early runs scored against them would come at the expense of the game that resulted in 0-3 loss for the Badlands.
In the first inning a ground ball single would be the cause of the first run for the away team. With two two runners on bases, Carson Lundmark deep center flyout catch would be putout number three.
Ryan Stafford was at the top of the lineup, but would be struck out, he would be 0-3 at the plate with one walk for the game. Lundmark attempted a bunt but would only make the count 1-2 before hitting a grounder to first baseman for an unassisted putout. Angel De La Cruz would step into the batter’s box with no one on bases and would be forced out to bring the second inning.
In the second, the Spuds would double their hits from the game prior with six. The home team got two putouts early but couldn’t manage to close the inning before a grounder and a stolen third base would lead to two more runs.
“It was a good offense, they got the barrel of the ball,” head coach Billy Tomblin said. “It’s only the second time we have played them. We are still trying to figure out how to we want to attack each guy and I know we attacked them real well yesterday, but the game of baseball is about making adjustments and they did a good job of making adjustments today.
The Big Sticks trailed 0-3 for the rest of the game with batters unable to gain much traction. They had the best chance to rally in the seventh, but would end up with three runners stranded. In that inning Joe Osborn hit a double that knocked deep to the fence line. Eric Martinez also smacked a double in the second and was the Dickinson Eagles Club player of the game. Martinez was 1-2, had two walks with his double and caught an amazing foul ball.
“He is a really good player; swings the bat well, defends well, has good baseball IQ and the kid got a lot of good things going for him,” Billy Tomblin said. “It’s a tough play; you got the fence closing everything in, the dugout fence and cement and you are trying to navigate all that with your eyes staring up at the sky, he did a really nice job keeping his composure, making his way to that fence and making that play.”
Joe Harris was on mound for the Big Stick for the first seven innings with 111-72 pitches. He managed to deliver three strikeouts with 10 hits. Harris received high praises from Tomblin after the game. The relief pitcher was Pat Miner, one of the best closers the Badlands have in their arsenal. He would record two hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
“Yesterday they saw Josh Tucker, who is upper eighties to low nineties from the left side with a high arm slot, Today they saw Joe Harris who is mid to upper eighties, right hander, little bit more three quarter arm slot. It’s just a different look,” Tomblin said. “Once Joe settled in though, he just shut the door on them and that was a good offense. Then Pat Miner came in and did a fantastic job as well.”
The winning pitcher Max Holtzclaw was an ace on the mound, shutting down the home side for seven innings with the relief pitcher coming in to be awarded the save. It is the first time in he Canyon County Spuds franchise history to shutout their opposition.
The game ended with zero errors committed from both sides and with the series split. Game three will decide who will take it.