Babe Ruth spends busy week on the road
The Panthers squared off against Bottineau Monday at Dakota College’s Lumberyard, familiar territory for Coach Dillon Marco, who plays for the DCB Lumberjacks as a pitcher when he’s not coaching little league.
Marco described the Bottineau Slugs as “tough” last week and said many Panthers had played in Bottineau before.
The Panthers’ 16-3 win against the Slugs was a sure sign the Rugby team felt comfortable at the Lumberyard.
“We played a pretty clean game,” Marco said after the win.
The Panthers leaped out to take the lead in the game’s first inning, when the team capitalized on walks and made attempts to steal bases. A strikeout and a runner tagged out at third caused the Slugs to take a risk when they intentionally walked batter Brody Schneibel.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Erik Foster hit a grounder into the Slug outfield, bringing home runner Jacob Ripplinger.
Trailing by one run, the Slugs tried to come back with a Carson Heare base hit, but left the runner stranded at the bottom of the inning.
The Panthers scored five more runs at the top of the second inning.
With a 6-0 Rugby lead, the Slugs’ next turn at bat resulted in one base hit and ended with the runner stranded again after Panther pitcher Jacob Ripplinger delivered a succession of strikeouts.
After a scoreless third inning, the Slugs saw their first run when a Tate Hennings double brought runner Travis Pollman home.
The Panthers answered by taking advantage of Slug errors and loaded bases to bat in four more runners, ending their turn at bat in the fifth inning with a 10-1 lead.
The Slugs batted in one more runner at the bottom of the fifth.
With a 10-2 lead, the Panthers would score two more runs in the sixth inning. The Slugs capitalized on Panther errors, turning a base hit into a triple and scoring a run on a wild Panther pitch.
The seventh inning began with a 12-3 Panther lead. Both teams wiped sweat from their foreheads in the muggy evening sun with arms that drooped loosely to their sides in the last inning. The Panthers capitalized on more Bottineau errors for four more runs, ending the game with a second win for their season.
Marco said he was “happy overall” with the Panthers’ play. “We need to work on errors, though. Brody (Schneibel) and Jacob (Ripplinger) each had pitching errors. But we played a good game, I mean, we won 16 to 3,” he added.
The Panthers would travel out of their comfort zone for the next game on their Babe Ruth Schedule, Marco noted.
“We play Renville County in Lansford,” Marco said. “We’ve never played them before. I don’t know what to expect,” he added. “All I’ve heard was they’re pretty good.”
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