Give-and-take, ups and downs. The Bismarck Governors had some of each Tuesday night.
The good definitely outweighed the bad, however, as the Governors defeated the Mandan Chiefs 15-5 at Municipal Ballpark.
Scheduled for nine innings, the game did not count in the statewide standings. It ended with one out in the bottom of the eighth via the 10-run rule.
After getting roughed up in two games in South Dakota last weekend, the Governors needed a win — any kind, any way.
“We went down there and just got shelled,” Governors pitcher and first baseman Hunter Walsh said of the misadventure in Pierre, S.D. “Tonight we had 21 hits. That’s huge for us going into tomorrow.”
Next on the schedule is defending state champion West Fargo. The teams meet in a 5:30 p.m. twin bill tonight at Municipal Ballpark. Both games count in the statewide standings.
Tuesday’s game was a three-act play. Bismarck took a 5-0 lead in the first act. The Governors scored two runs in the first inning and three in the second, due in large part to some loose Chiefs fielding. Three Mandan errors led to four unearned runs. However, Andrew Dill smacked a two-run single in the second inning.
Mandan sprang to life in act two, rapping five hits to tie the game 5-5. Trever Leingang’s two-run double and Alex Weiand’s two-RBI single were the big blows in that surge.
At that point Mandan’s offense dried up. Bismarck, though, kept going and going.
Bismarck put up a six-spot in a strange sixth inning that included six hits, an intentional walk and three errors. The miscues resulted in four tainted runs.
Brandon Gieszler got the inning going with a bad-hop single that jumped high over shortstop Jerry Carlson’s head. Zach Schuchard put down a sacrifice bunt that pitcher Jared Walters threw wildly into center field.
Mandan brought up the infield with Gieszler on third and Tyler Clairmont’s one-hop shot handcuffed Carlson for a hit, Gieszler scoring.
Shane Wolf and Trent Bohan followed with bunt singles, Quinn Irey had an infield hit and Gieszler rapped a solid single to left.
After 11 batters, Mandan quelled the uprising, but not before six runs had scored.
Bismarck added two more in the seventh and two in the eighth to bring an end to the proceedings at Municipal Ballpark.
The Governors banged out 20 hits, including four by Bohan, and three each by Walsh and Gieszler. Jacob Brucker, Irey and Wolf supplied two hits apiece.
Walsh agreed that the old adage about hitting begetting hitting applied against the Chiefs.
“Trent Bohan just did great hitting at the top of the lineup. All three of those guys (Bohan, Brucker and Dill) did a great job of setting the table for us.” Walsh said.
Walsh said there’s been a lot of turnover on the Governors’ roster since last year’s third-place state tournament finish. With so many new players, the path can get rocky at times.
“We’re a young baseball team. We have a lot of new kids ... and we’re going through some growing pains,” Walsh said. “Things couldn’t have been better tonight, though.”
When Mandan rallied to tie in the third inning, Walsh said he reminded himself that a nine-inning game is almost like a marathon.
“You’ve just got to understand that you’ve got seven more at-bats,” he said. ... You’ve just got to keep your head. In a nine-inning game anything can fall and anything can happen. We found that out tonight.”
Bismarck right-hander Kole Bauer went six innings to pick up the win. He threw 91 pitches, 60 of them strikes. The loss went to Walters, Mandan’s right-handed starter. He threw 101 pitches, including 33 in the six-run sixth.
Walsh finished up for the Governors and Zach Scott closed out the game for the Chiefs.
Mandan has two days off before heading to Spearfish, S.D., on Friday for a three-day tournament.
Mandan 005 000 00 — 5 9 6
Bismarck 230 006 22 — 15 20 1
Jared Walters, Zach Scott (7) and Trever Leingang; Kole Bauer, Hunter Walsh (7) and Quinn Irey. W — Bauer, 1-0. L — Walters, 0-2. HR — None.
Highlights: M — Scott 3-for-5, 1 R; Leingang 1-for-3, double, 1 R, 2 RBIs; Alex Weiand 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Jerry Carlson 2-for-4. B — Trent Bohan 4-for-6, 3 R, 2 RBIs, 1 SB; Jacob Brucker 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBIs; Walsh 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI; Irey 2-for-5, 1 RBI; Brandon Gieszler 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB; Shane Wolf 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBIs.
Records: Mandan 0-2 statewide, 0-6 overall; Bismarck 3-2, 0-0.