VALLEY CITY  (VCSU)   – Dickinson State rallied from a 7-3 deficit on Sunday as the Blue Hawks extended their season with a 9-8 victory over Valley City State at the NSAA Baseball Tournament.

VCSU led 7-3 after the fourth inning – thanks to a six-run third inning. Dickinson State chipped away and scored in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings en route to the come-from-behind victory.

Dickinson State will play Bellevue University in a loser-out game at approximately 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The winner will advance to the NSAA championship game against Mayville State at 11 a.m. Monday. Valley City State ends its season with a 23-26 overall record.

Dickinson State struck first with a solo home run off the bat of Mathias Dufner, giving the Blue Hawks a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

The Vikings responded with a two-out rally in the top of the third, plating six runs for a 6-1 lead. Dickinson State retired the first two batters of the inning before Colton Berg started the rally with a single through the left side. Four batters later, Jorun Hamre blasted a grand slam over the center-field fence to give the Vikings the lead.

The Blue Hawks put up two runs in the third inning with back-to-back doubles by Derek Calvillo and Kade Ostenson plating two runs.

VCSU’s Gedeon Ellis hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the fourth, giving the Vikings a 7-3 lead.

The home run surge continued in the bottom of the fifth as Dickinson’s Kade Ostenson snuck a two-run shot just inside the foul pole in right field. In the sixth, Connor Polkowske singled in Dufner to cut VCSU’s lead to just one run at 7-6.

Valley City State opened the seventh inning with back-to-back singles, but Dickinson pitcher Brannan Hogan struck out three straight batters to work out of the jam unscathed.

The Blue Hawks went back to work in the bottom of the seventh, plating two more runs to take an 8-7 lead. The first scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Jacob Clinton, and the go-ahead run scored on a Viking throwing error. Dickinson pushed across an insurance run in the eighth inning, extending the lead to 9-7 on a pinch-hit RBI single by Brett Bantle.

That insurance run proved to be important as the Vikings pulled to within 9-8 on Dustin Mertz‘s solo home run in the top of the ninth inning. The Vikings had the tying run on first with one out, but Dickinson State pitcher Tamarek Wrinkle induced a ground ball double play to end the game.

VCSU senior Jorun Hamre hit his school record 18th home run of the season as he went 2-for-5 with four RBIs. Dustin Mertz, Ryan Reynolds and Colton Berg each collected two hits as well for VCSU.

Matthew Suda started on the mound for VCSU and worked six innings, allowing nine hits and six runs. He walked one and struck out four. Chase Feller pitched the final two innings and took the loss, allowing four hits and three runs.

Brannan Hogan earned the win for Dickinson State after starting and working seven innings. He gave up nine hits and seven runs – only one of which was earned. Tamarek Wrinkle earned the save, pitching the final two innings. He allowed three hits and one run, did not walk a batter and struck out one.

Derrick Calvillo and Mathias Dufner each had three hits for Dickinson State. Cade Ostenson went 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs.


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