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MSU Falls Twice at UMD
Minot -- For the first time all season, Minot State University baseball couldn't generate enough offense to win as the Beavers fell in both games to start a four-game set at Minnesota Duluth in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play Saturday at Bulldog Park. The Beavers dropped a 3-1 decision in game 1 and fell 5-4 in 10 innings in game 2. "We had ample opportunities but just couldn't cash in today," said MSU head coach Scott Eul. "We had way too many guys left on base and way too many strikeouts. We weren't able to come up with the big hit when we needed it on multiple occasions." In game 1, MSU and UMD both scored all of their respective runs in the first inning. The Beavers (21-15 overall, 16-12 NSIC) scored a run in the top of the first inning, but gave up three in the bottom to UMD (18-19, 13-12). Minot State starter Kendal Daniels and the Bulldogs pitchers Marcus Frederickson and Colton Sinning matched zeros from there on out. Daniels suffered the loss despite going the distance, giving up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. Frederickson gave up just one run on four hits and Sinning worked a scoreless seventh for the save. "I think we threw the ball pretty well today," Eul said.   FULL STORY

The Death, and Life,
of a Hockey Program

Grand Forks -- On March 29, I sat in the stands and watched a hockey team I loved skate for the final time. I had already played my last game for North Dakota a few weeks before. I was at our arena, the Ralph, to work out in the weight room with a few other graduating seniors. Down on the ice, the girls were already starting their preparations for next season. We knew that cuts were coming to a few of the athletic programs at UND, but it had never once crossed my mind that they would cut women’s hockey. Grand Forks is a hockey town. UND is a hockey school. The women’s team has finished in the top four of the WCHA every year since 2011. Nine current or former Fighting Hawks players took part in this year women’s world’s in Plymouth, Michigan. How could UND cut women’s hockey? A few minutes later I was doing some stretching in the weight room when Gracen Hirschy, one of our seniors I was working out with, yelled over to me to come check out a tweet on her phone. It was from a local reporter who said that the word on the street was that UND was cutting the women’s hockey program.   FULL STORY-THE PLAYERS' TRIBUNE

Big Innings Cost Marauders as Mustangs Pull off Sweep
Bismarck -- It only took one. University of Mary senior Nicholas Stobbe held Southwest Minnesota State University scoreless in five innings of six innings. The Mustangs, though, posted all the runs they needed in that single stanza to defeat the visiting Marauders 4-2 in the Northern Sun doubleheader opener. SMSU completed the sweep of UMary with an 11-1 win in game two. The Marauders struck first in the opener, staking Stobbe to a 1-0 lead after scoring in the top of the first inning. Seth Meide cracked a double to center and moved to third on a single by Travis Stevens. The pair then pulled off a double steal with Meide scoring the first run of the game. Stobbe kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard through the first three innings, allowing just a pair of harmless hits. Southwest Minnesota State turned the game around in the fourth. After a one-out walk, Jayden Fleck hit a 2-run home run to left field, giving SMSU a 2-1 lead. The Mustangs soon added two more runs with two outs in the inning. FULL STORY

Third Period Slip-Up Costs Bobcats
in Season Finale

Bismarck -- The twentieth season of Bismarck Bobcats hockey in the capital region ended on a sour note Saturday as the Cats conceded four unanswered goals to fall 4-1 to the Austin Bruins at the VFW Sports Center. Locked in a scoreless tie over halfway through the game, it was the Bobcats who struck first on the season’s final night, getting a transition goal from outgoing 1996 birthyear Zach Kennedy on a sharp-angle redirect of a lively pass from Cooper Haar for a 1-0 lead with 3:05 left in the second period. Austin wasted no time evening the score in the third, striking 97 seconds into the final frame on a hard slapshot through traffic by Jon Richards to spoil the shutout bid of Bobcat goalie Camden Haugenoe and knot the game at one. Winger Jack Murphy then pushed the Bruins in front at 2-1 with 7:28 to go, stepping through the Bobcat defense for a short breakaway and just beating Haugenoe inside the left post with a backhander. Richards applied the back-breaker for the visitors, cashing in a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Justin Misiak at the 5:43 mark to push Austin’s edge to 3-1.. When the Bobcats pulled Haugenoe for the extra attacker, Murphy got his third of the weekend on a rolling backhander to give the game its final 4-1 margin.  FULL STORY

Coach Roger Thomas to Retire from U of Mary

Bismarck University of Mary announces the retirement of its athletic director, Roger Thomas, effective June 30. Thomas, who has been the university’s athletic director since 2008, has had a tremendous career for the Marauders, leading the school’s athletic departments in fostering scores of top-caliber athletes to All-American citations, and making the transition to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) of the NCAA Division II from the NAIA. During the transition from Mary’s first A.D., Al Bortke, Thomas had the duty of bringing the school into compliance with its new rank. “It’s with great pride, gratitude and humility that I have had the opportunity to serve the University of Mary and the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery during its new era of NCAA athletics—a time of great growth for our campus and our student athletes,” said Thomas. “My hope was always for our student athletes to graduate from the University of Mary as champions in their own hearts—knowing they gave it their all in the classroom, competitively in their sport and then confidently go into their communities as true servant leaders. It’s bittersweet that I come to the end of my career in athletics. Having worked with so many wonderful athletes over the years, it’s rewarding to know we helped shape their character and better serve society—and we did it the right way.” FULL STORY

Drew Pearson Signs Letter of Intent to Play Basketball for the Mystics
Bismarck -- Coach Buster Gilliss is pleased to announce Drew Pearson of Des Lacs-Burlington High School has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball next season for Bismarck State College. Pearson, a 5'10" guard, was named to the Class B All-State Team this past winter, while averaging 26 points and 5 assists per game for the Lakers. Pearson was a two-time All-District and All-Region performer, and was recently named the Region 6 Class B Player of the Year. Drew comes from a successful and solid program where he played a key role in carrying on that tradition. He has the ability to create his shot and is a consistent three-point threat. He will add depth to the guard position for the Mystics.

RedHawks Re-Sign Almarante, Carter, & Solomon

Fargo -- The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have re-signed a trio of players from the 2016 team to contracts for the upcoming season: RHP Jose Almarante, CF Kes Carter and LHP Will Solomon. The RedHawks now have 14 players under contract for the 2017 season. Almarante, 28, was 4-2 with a 2.74 ERA and one save for the RedHawks in 2016. He appeared in 25 games (15 starts) and allowed 45 runs (35 earned) on 99 hits. Almarante struck out 86 batters and walked 36. He finished third in the American Association in ERA. Almarante pitched this winter with the Toros de Sincelejo of the Colombian Winter League, where he was 2-4 with a 3.30 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched. He began his professional career in 2008 after signing out of the Dominican Republic with the St. Louis Cardinals, and reached the Triple-A level in 2013 and 2014. Carter, 26, batted .280 with 23 doubles, three triple, 16 home runs, 57 RBIs and 50 runs scored for the RedHawks in 2016, his first year with the club. Carter finished fifth in the American Association in extra-base hits, while his 247 putouts and 255 total chances ranked second among all league outfielders. Carter was selected in the first round (56th overall) of the 2011 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent five seasons in the Rays organization, and advanced to the Double-A level in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Carter played college baseball at Western Kentucky University.  FULL STORY

Blue Hawks Fall to Comets
Dickinson -- The Dickinson State University Baseball team dropped all four games to the Mayville State University Comets this last weekend. The Blue Hawks dropped game 1 of the weekend series against NSAA foe Mayville State 16-3. The Comets would score all of their runs before the 6th inning with the Blue Hawks adding runs in the 1st and 6th innings. The Blue Hawks offense was led by Sagan Osborne who went 2-3 with an RBI. Jacob Cuch and Dylan Skabo both went 2-4 on the day. Micquel Robinson added one hit and Ryan Absher had a double and 2 RBI. Joey Buchanan took the loss for DSU going 2 innings and allowing 8 runs on 7 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 1. Gabe Lizzaraga pitched 1 inning and allowed 3 runs on 2 hits, while Brock Messer also went 1.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on no hits, but 3 walks. Konner Goettsche finished the final 1.2 innings for the Blue Hawk allowing 2 runs on 2 hits.  FULL STORY

By Jeff Baranick
Beulah -- Officially a month into spring now on the Northern Plains, with lengthening daylight and milder temperatures on the scene, outdoor activities on the North Dakota prep sports landscape are flourishing. A multitude of spring sports are in full swing, including baseball, softball, track-&-field, and golf. In this past week, KDKT Sports Radio covered a pair of Class B Region 8 baseball contests involving the Beulah Miners, and Beulah was victorious in both of them. At home at spacious Goldmann Field at McKenzie Park on Tuesday evening, the Miners thrashed the Heart River Cougars 13-0 behind a stellar pitching performance turned in by Sr righthander Matthew Schnabel. Three days later at cozy Slinde Field in Hazen, Beulah downed the host Bison 7-4, with Miner relief pitcher Aaron Vallejo registering the win on the bump, and Hazen starter Jayce Zuern being saddled with the loss. In the non-league nightcaps of both twinbills, Beulah added a 17-3 win at the expense of Heart River, but later fell to Hazen 7-6. As the week concluded, Beulah could boast an overall ledger of 6-4 and a sparkling 4-0 regional record. KDKT will feature the Coal Country Miners once again in this new week unfolding, as they host Shiloh Christian Monday evening (April 24) in a Region 8 matchup. In other league encounters taking place last week, Washburn-Wilton-Center-Stanton outlasted Hazen 5-3 but then dropped a 7-3 decision to Shiloh. Additionally, in a Friday evening Region 6 doubleheader, Minot Ryan swept Central McLean 14-1 & 8-5. In Class A baseball games staged in recent days, Century swept Legacy 7-4 & 3-0; Dickinson took the broom to both Mandan and Bismarck, overwhelming the Braves 7-zip and 14-5, and outduelling the Demons 14-0 & 11-9. In another weekend twinbill, the defending state champion Midgets split with Minot in the Magic City. Dickinson won game one 8-nil, but lost the nightcap 4-2. Elsewhere, Minot split with Jamestown, winning over the Bluejays 2-0, before stumbling to them in game two, 6-4. Also, Williston knocked off Bismarck twice--by tallies of 2-1 & 8-1. Moreover, in a slate of Friday evening contests, Jamestown split a doubleheader with Bismarck, claiming a 2-0 first-game win, but losing the nightcap 7-3; and Williston downed St. Mary's twice; game scores were 3-2 and 13-8. Finally, Legacy hosted Mandan, falling to the Braves twice--1-0 & 4-1; Mandan defeated St. Mary's in consecutive contests, 5-0 & 5-3; and Minot split a doubleheader with Century. The Magicians nabbed a 3-0 victory in the opener, with the Patriots garnering a 4-3 win in the 2nd game. On the Class B softball scene last week, Wilton-Wing routed Ray 11-3, Des Lacs-Burlington buried Washburn 22-1, and Wilton-Wing vanquished Velva 23-1. Turning our attention to boys' track-&-field, the MDU Resources Community Bowl in the Capital City was the site of the annual Bismarck Kiwanis Meet on Friday afternoon. Winning the team title was Legacy with a total of 145 points, 16 counters ahead of runner-up Century. Helping spark the Sabers' meet championship was the duo of Alex Brousseau and Brandon Lewis. Brousseau won the 100 in 11.12 seconds (.03 second faster than Minot's Manuel Bradford) and was 2nd in the 200 with a clocking of 22.17 seconds (.02 second behind Bradford). Meanwhile, Lewis soared 44'4" to win the triple jump, and finished 5th in the long jump with a leap of 20'4". Other outstanding running performances were registered by Logan Goheen of Minot, Leif Everson of Williston, Evan Sayler from Century, and New Town's Ryan Wheeling.  Goheen sprinted to a victory in the 400 (49.77 seconds); Everson crushed all competitors on his way to an 800 victory (1:56.44); Sayler nudged his closest rivals in the 1600 by recording a time of 4:23.58; and Wheeling cruised to a decisive win in the 3200--9:28.74. In the Bismarck Invitational girls' meet on Saturday, Bismarck outpaced the competition to win the meet title with 167.5 points, 25.5 markers better than 2nd-place Century. A quintet of double-winners was Britta Curl of St. Mary's, Century's Regan Dennis, Dickinson's Lexi Jordheim and Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn and Blythe Ehrmantraut, both of Bismarck. Curl captured the 100 & 300 hurdle races (16.26 seconds & 47.18 seconds); Dennis outhrew the competition in the shotput (42') and javelin (115'3"); Jordheim outperformed her rivals in the high jump (5'1") and pole vault (10'3"); Shirley-Fairbairn won the 800 & 1600 (2:22.54 & 5:07.63); and Ehrmantraut outdid the field in the long jump (16'10.5") & triple jump (36'). In Class B track-&-field action, Hazen hosted its annual Sakakawea Classic Meet on Saturday afternoon, with Watford City earning the boys' team title by a digit over Dickinson Trinity (112 to 111 points), and Hazen winning the girls' championship with 136 points. On the boys' side, Trinity's Kaden Kuntz won four events--the 100, 200, long jump, & triple jump--while double-winners were Jacob Rodin of Kenmare-Bowbells (400 & 800) and Watford City's Connor Dennis (110 & 300 hurdles).  In the girls' division, Grant County-Flasher's Taylor Roehl was a quadruple winner, claiming the 100 & 300 hurdles and the long & triple jumps. Grace Zimmerman from Hazen was also a part of four victories--the 100, 200, & 400 dashes and running a leg on the 400 relay. Winning a pair of events each were Kayla Ogle of Watford City (800 & 1600) and Emma Marion from Grant County-Flasher (shotput & discus). On the Class B links for male golfers, Heart River ran away with the team championship in the Beulah Invitational staged at the Black Sands Golf Course, cruising to a 46-stroke victory over runner-up Beulah. Pacing the Cougars to their decisive win was the trio of Jayden Ewoniuk, Joey Wagner, and Trace Jacobson. Ewoniuk was the medalist, carding an 18-hole score of 70, while Wagner and Jacobson were tied for second in the individual standings with a round of 75. The Miners' top-two golfers placed 4th and 5th, respectively. Michaeal Schmidt shot a 77 and Jace Sailer recorded an 82.

Filed by Veteran KDKT Sportscaster Jeff Baranick

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