The two newest members of the Northwoods League took center stage on Wednesday night at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.
The Bismarck Bull Moose made their league debut. But it was the Mandan Flickertails that picked up their first victory.
The Flickertails jumped out to an early lead and scored runs in each of the first five innings en route to a 9-6 victory over the Bull Moose in front of 500 fans.
Jake Hansen had three hits and Ben Rushing drove in four runs as the Mandan club took the lead for good with a three-run fourth frame.
After opening the season with a pair of losses to the Bismarck Larks, the Flickertails earned their first victory in a game that featured a combined 15 runs on 24 hits and seven errors.
Each team collected a dozen hits while the Flickertails won despite five miscues.
Connor Langreder, the third of five Flickertails pitchers, picked up the win. He threw two innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out three.
Brian Craven took the ball for the bottom of the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning for the save.
The Flickertails jumped out to a lead as Rushing drove in a pair of runs with a line-drive single to the gap in left center with two out in the top of the first inning.
The Bull Moose got a run in the home half of the first. Leadoff hitter Calen Schwabe – a Thompson native and North Dakota State junior outfielder – lined a single to right and went all the way to third when the right fielder overran the ball. Schwabe scored on Lorenzo Debrecht’s grounder to third to make it 2-1.
Schwabe had two hits, as did Lorenzo Debrecht and Noah Hemphill for the Bull Moose.
Raheem Salmon’s sacrifice fly plated Jackson Loftin in the top of the second to give Mandan a 3-1 lead.
Jake Shier’s two-out single to left brought home Noah Hemphill with the second run of the game for the Bull Moose in the bottom of the second, making it a one-run game again.
The Flickertails added another run in the top of the third when Hansen scored on a Bull Moose error, making it 4-2.
Bismarck scored twice in the bottom of the third to even it up. Peter Serruto’s sacrifice fly brought home Debrecht and another run came in on a Mandan error, their third of the game.
The Flickertails jumped back out in front in quick fashion, striking for three runs in the top of the fourth off reliever Garrett Willis. Loftin’s RBI single to center gave Mandan back the lead, and the Flickertails added runs on an error and a wild pitch to make it 7-4.
Schwabe singled and came in to score on an error and the Bull Moose loaded the bases with one out but Flickertails reliever Blake Petty worked out of the jam to preserve a 7-5 advantage.
Hansen led off the fifth with a double and scored Mandan’s eighth run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Rushing.
Rushing’s sacrifice fly plated Jeffrey Elkins with the ninth run of the game for the Flickertails in the top of the seventh.
The Bull Moose got a run when Peter Serruto doubled and scored on a two-out error in the bottom of the seventh, making it 9-6.
On Thursday, the Larks (2-0) take on the Bull Moose (0-1) at 7:05 p.m.
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