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Walks, errors doom Dimock/Emery against Dell Rapids PBR

Matt Bunke/Republic Dimock/Emery shortstop Jason Schmidt dives to try to put a tag on Dell Rapids PBR's Craig Hansen as he slides safely into second on a stolen base during Wednesday's second-round game of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park.

If there were mulligans in baseball, Dimock/Emery surely would have used one on the seventh inning of Wednesday's game at Cadwell Park.

Tied at 2 against Dell Rapids PBR in a game that was shaping up to be a nail-biter, Dimock/Emery committed four errors in the top of the seventh, allowing PBR to score seven runs on only three hits. The miscues helped PBR take a suddenly commanding lead on its way to a 9-5 win in a second-round game of the Class B state amateur tournament.

"If they hit the ball all over the park and they beat you, you tip your hats to them and say they're the better team," Dimock/Emery manager Ron DeGeest said. "I guess they're still the better team, but we had opportunities if we made some plays, and we just didn't make them."

Doug Sudbeck's RBI single to center in the fifth for Dimock/Emery had tied the game at 2, but walks and errors killed the Raptors in the seventh. Craig Hansen was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and when Sheldon Davis laid down a sacrifice bunt, the throw skipped off first-baseman Gary Earl's glove and down the right field line, putting runners on first and third with nobody out.

Dimock/Emery starter Matt Luckey followed by inducing a popout, but Jay Bentz, PBR's nine-hitter, came through with an RBI single to plate the first run of the inning.

After another Raptors error, Willie Meis was summoned from left field to take the mound, but he walked two batters, including one to force in a run, and Jason Schmidt was summoned to the mound from shortstop. He was greeted with a two-run single from Landon Klock, and two more errors and two more hits eventually helped PBR take a 9-2 lead.

"They're a good ballclub," DeGeest said. "They don't beat themselves, and we knew that coming in. They may not have the scariest offense and maybe not the greatest pitching staff, but they throw strikes, they hit the ball and they field the ball. Plain and simple, that was probably the difference in the game."

Dimock/Emery made a dent in the lead in the eighth, scoring three runs on a two-run single from Phil Johnson and an RBI hit from Meis. However, after struggling to get the bats going early, there just wasn't enough time to mount a comeback.

Dell Rapids starter Dale Solberg had Dimock/Emery off balance most of the night, allowing only two runs on four hits through his first seven innings, before he ran into some trouble in the eighth. His final line included five earned runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings, but most of the damage was done after PBR had already built a comfortable lead.

"Solberg is in his upper 40s, and you don't still pitch amateur ball at 48 without knowing how to pitch," DeGeest said. "He throws strikes. He pitches down the middle of the plate, and I didn't think in a couple siutations we were agreesive enough. In saying that, in other situations I thought we were too aggressive, and we maybe swung at some pitches we shouldn't have."

Johnson's RBI single in the first put the Raptors on the board first, but PBR took a 2-1 lead in the third on Klock's two-run homer to left.

Johnson had two hits and three RBIs to lead Dimock/Emery, Meis was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Sudbeck was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Luckey took the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits in 6.1 innings.

Klock was 2-for-5 with four RBIs for PBR and Michael Davis was 2-for-5 with an RBI. PBR will play Friday at 8 p.m. in a quarterfinal game.

"Tip your hat to them," DeGeest said. "They played a great game."