Breckenridge Post 53 entered the annual Stars and Strikes Border Battle with a four-game losing streak where they struggled at the plate and it was only a matter of time before their bats came back to life. Post 53 avenged last year’s lopsided loss to their rivals with an 11-1 rout of Post 20 on Thursday, July 4.
Breck’s players were hungry to get back on the right track and their preparation for the game showed in the result.
“We kind of went through a little slump where we didn’t hit the ball for three or four games. Last night we had a two and a half hour practice that was only supposed to be an hour,” Breckenridge coach Kevin Hiedeman said. “We went all the way back to March 1 at the beginning of baseball and started with the basics. We couldn’t get rid of them. They wanted to take more. Then tonight we were going to have a quick round and did another two-hour round tonight. And it paid off. Give the kids credit because they put the effort and the time in.”
The hours in the batting cage showed in the top of the first with Post 53 putting a trio of runs on the board. Breck’s first four batters all notched base hits. They also swiped four stolen bases and ended the night with eight.
“We ran the ever-loving crap out of the bases,” Hiedeman said. “We could’ve had more, but we started easing off the bases at the end. We were stealing bases at will tonight. I wouldn’t want to play defense against us with as well we run.”
Mitch Porter took the hill for Breckenridge and pitched all six innings. He gave up three hits and fanned seven batters in the win.
“Mitch Porter threw a very nice baseball game,” Wahpeton coach Kelly McNary said. “It’s tough to get anything going off him and the first time we had to face him we were down in the hole already. They came out and hit the ball all night long.”
Post 53 added to their lead every inning. Porter had a trio of hits and was a home run away from the cycle. Andrew Kram matched Porter’s hits with three of his own in the leadoff spot and Jeremy Stack got out of his slump with a hit in each of his four plate appearances.
“The hard part about when you play Legion with games everyday, you don’t get the chance to work on stuff in practice. Jeremy’s easy to fix because it’s a little quick thing,” Hiedeman said. “He looked like he did the whole high school season. That’s the Jeremy that we’re used to seeing.”
Porter’s bids for a no-hitter and a shutout both ended in the fourth inning. After Trenton Dufner got on with an error, Nick Bronson banged a single to left from his cleanup spot. A passed ball advanced Dufner, which set up Zach Manock’s RBI sac fly to right.
“It’s nice to not get no-hit and to finally score a run obviously. We had a few other chances, but we didn’t have enough runners on base to make a huge difference,” McNary said. “It is what it is. They played a great game and we’ll live with it.”
Leading 7-1 in the fifth inning, the reserves got a chance to shine in the biggest non-conference game of the year. Luke Arnhalt boomed a double over the left fielder’s head to lead off the inning. Carson Hought also came in and put a double over an outfielder’s head to bring in the run that triggered the mercy rule.
“We hit all the way through the lineup one through nine. Even the guys we brought off the bench were hitting,” Hiedeman said. “I’m thrilled with the way we hit the ball. It was long overdue.”
Breckenridge moves on to face Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Minnesota, for a scheduled start time of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9.
“Hopefully this will get us going when we had into our conference weekend, because another week we’ll be into our pods already,” Hiedeman said.
Wahpeton goes back to work with a non-conference road doubleheader against LaMoure, North Dakota. The first game starts at 5 p.m. Monday, July 8.
“We move into a pretty busy week next week. I know we have one non-conference game Monday and three different dates next week that we’re playing conference games,” McNary said. “We’re gong to have to rebound from this and hopefully get some conference wins.”
Post 53 Offensive Stats
Andrew Kram- 3-5, 3 R, 3 SB
Jeremy Stack- 4-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB
Mitch Porter- 3-4, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, 2 R, SB
Brayden Wahl- 2-3, 2 RBI
Max Johnson- 0-2, BB, K
Hayden Schuler- 0-3, 3 Ks
Derrick Zietlow- 0-1, K
Carter Haugen- 0-0, 2 BB, RBI, R
Luke Arnhalt- 1-2, 2B
Jake Wendorff- 1-3, R, K
Chris Korinek- 0-1, K
Emmit Vig- 0-3, R, SB
Carson Hought- 1-1, 2B, RBI
Tommy Hiedeman- SB
Post 53 Pitching Stats
Mitch Porter- 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 R, 7 Ks
Post 20 Offensive Stats
Jake Uhlich- 1-3, K
Isaac Loosmore- 0-3, 2 Ks
Trenton Dufner- 1-3, R, SB
Nick Bronson- 1-3, K
Zach Manock- 0-0, BB, RBI
Bryce Schmit- 0-1, K
Dawson Hofman- 0-2
Jonah Enochson- 0-0, HBP
Brett Gilbertson- 0-1, BB, K
Hunter Wamre- 0-1
Isaac Getz- 0-3
Sawyer Malme- 0-2, K
Post 20 Pitching Stats
Jake Uhlich- 4 2/3 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 9 R, 6 Ks
Isaac Getz- 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 R, K