Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, April 25th, 2019
The upper 60 degree warmth and sun rays that broke through the partially cloudy skies Wednesday afternoon in Devils Lake also brought with it gusty winds. Bismarck State College took full advantage of what nature had to offer.
Behind three home runs that scored four of 10 seventh inning runs, the Mystics rallied to beat Lake Region State College 17-8 in the first game of a mid-week Mon-Dak baseball doubleheader from Legion Field at Roosevelt Park. The 10-run inning turned what was nearly the Mystics fourth conference loss of the season into a seven game winning streak.
"It's tough. It's one of those things were you know you want to step in and help them but it was one of the ones when it started snowballing and it just kept going and going," said Royals head coach Kyal Williams. "We were three outs from winning and we just couldn't get it."
Trailing by one heading into their final at-bat, the Mystics Matt Guenther led off with a solo home run that floated over the fence while it hugged the left field foul line. With two outs and now ahead by one run after a RBI double by Jake Faircloth, Seth Brewer sent one over the fence for a two-run shot. The very next batter, Alec Battest, added a solo homer to give the Mystics a four run lead. Two two-run doubles by Devon Farrell and Faircloth respectively and when the wind had settled, Bismarck State College led by nine.
"That's the worse thing about baseball. it's just one of those things were it keeps going and when any team gets hot it's hard to stop them," Williams said.
Farrell only had two hits for Bismarck State College, but finished with four RBIs. Both Faircloth and Guenther each went 3 for 5 with Faircloth getting three RBIs and Guenther getting two RBIs but he also scored three runs.
The Royals transformed a two-run deficit into a lead in the third inning. RBIs by Ezra Johnson and Alex Jinda tied the ball game up at 4-all. Taylor Musgrave's three-run home run that plated Johnson and Jinda and the Royals led 7-4. The Royals added a run in the bottom of the fourth to go up by four runs but wasn't able to hold it.
"Give credit to them. They did a really good job of keep battling," began Williams. "We missed a few locations and the weather didn't help the best — we had the same weather too — so those are all of those things we could've taken advantage of."
Musgrave had four RBIs and Johnson went 3 for 4 for the Royals.
The game ended with the two teams combining for 31 hits. The Mystics had 20.
Game 2 started like the first game ended, with the Mystics (27-6, 13-3 MonDak) scoring 10 runs, including two 3-run homers, in the first inning. But the Royals inched their way back into the game.
Jinda's grand slam in the bottom of the second inning were the first runs for Lake Region after falling behind 10-0. Down six runs midway through six innings, a RBI double by James Sampson-Keck scored Remy Stern. The next batter, Tarick Morris, knocked in Sampson-Keck followed by a RBI by Johnson that scored Morris. Musgrave's double scored Johnson to pull the Royals (9-16, 4-12) to within two at 11-9.
The Mystics added three runs in the top of the seventh to end the threat.
Over the two games, there were nine total home runs, eight by Bismarck State College.
"Credit to our guys. We try to teach you that in college baseball, you can come back from anything. We fought back extremely hard and I thought we had a chance to win there a couple of times," Williams said.
Both Johnson and Morris scored twice for the Royals, who end their regular season this weekend with a home-and-home series with Dakota College at Bottineau.