Sawyer Malme stepped up to the plate with two outs and the winning run on third in the bottom of the final inning. With how the Monday, July 1 game had gone so far, it looked like it was going to be a scoreless game heading into extra innings. Malme drove a hard grounder to the second baseman who bobbled it, scoring Isaac Loosemore for the 1-0 walk-off win.
“That’s a big conference win. I can’t say enough how big of a conference win this is for these kids,” Wahpeton Assistant Coach Wade Gilbertson said.
Bryce Schmit tossed a gem for Post 20. The right-handed hurler went all seven innings, striking out one batter per inning to go along with three hits and a walk.
“It was a great pitching duel. I was very impressed with their guy, but I was also very impressed with Bryce,” Gilbertson said. “Bryce hit a spot in the middle innings where he beared down and basically put us on his shoulders for the middle innings all the way through the seventh to that win.”
Gilbertson, who was filling in for Head Coach Kelly McNary the first few innings, nearly pulled Schmit early in the game. He tasked the starter to be a leader and Schmit delivered.
“We had a friendly discussion and it worked out. I’ve coached Bryce before, I’ve known him a very long time because he’s in my son’s class and I know kind of what works with him and what doesn’t work with him,” Gilbertson said. “All the credit goes to him. He pitched an amazing game.”
Schmit got some help from his defense in the final inning. With the winning run on second base with one out, a Valley City hitter drilled what looked to be a sure hit to right. Trenton Dufner turned on the jets and laid out for the diving snag.
“Wasn’t that something? You couldn’t have thrown that ball out there any better for a hitter. He just poked that baby out there and we’re thinking, ‘Oh, boy,’” Gilbertson said. “If there’s a guy that we want a ball like that hit to, it’s Trenton Dufner for sure, because he’s going to go get it. And if he doesn’t get it he’s going to die trying. That was a game-saving catch right there.”
Schmit struck out the final batter of the inning to set his team up for the win.
“The ending was wild, but everything up to that was just run-of-the-mill baseball. We couldn’t get anything going offensively, but (Schmit) kept them from scoring,” Gilbertson said.
The final score of the non-counter was 4-3. Another walk-off win, Hunter Wamre delivered the game-winning RBI to cap off the night.
“Hopefully this gives us momentum going into the Fourth of July and into the second half of the season after the fourth,” Gilbertson said.
Jake Uhlich- 2-3
Trenton Dufner- 1-3
Dawson Hofman- 0-3 K
Nick Bronson- 0-3
Zach Manock- 1-3 K
Isaac Loosemore- 1-3 R
Brett Gilbertson- 0-3
Jonah Enochson- 0-3 3 Ks
Sawyer Malme- 0-3
Isaac Getz- SB
Bryce Schmit- 3 H, 1 BB, 7 Ks