Babe Ruth Escapes Ellendale with District Sweep

Another pair of games, another same-day Babe Ruth season sweep.

This time it wasn’t easy, as Valley City returned from Ellendale, N.D., Wednesday night with a pair of comeback District wins, 7-6 and 6-5, for their seventh and eighth straight wins.

“We didn’t play up to our best today, but we fought through it and found a way to pick up two big wins,” Babe Ruth head coach Lance Lukes said. “And like I told the boys, a W is a W, and we escaped today with two of them.”

Ellendale led 6-4 through four opener innings, but Valley City scored an unanswered run in each of the final three innings.

Ellendale held a 1-0 margin after a frame. Babe Ruth put up three runs in the second, but Ellendale did the same in the home half to tie it up at 3-3. Both tacked on a run in the third, and Ellendale scored two fourth-inning runs for a 6-4 gap. Valley City’s two-run top of the fifth tied it up at 6-6, and Babe Ruth managed a run in the seventh for the win.

Dawson Dietrich pitched six winning innings on six runs — three earned — eight hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Nate Rodriguez held down a hitless seventh to fan two batters.

“Dietrich worked through some rough spots on the mound to keep things close and eventually came away with the win,” Lukes said.

Cole McGough landed four of 12 Valley City hits in four attempts for a double and a run driven in. Sam Jenson and Garret Suhr picked up two hits each.

“McGough had his coming-out games today at the plate,” Lukes said.

Rodriguez’s seventh-inning sacrifice fly gave Valley City the win in the closer.

McGough batted 2-of-3 to drive in two runs as Valley City picked up only six hits.

“Cole ended up going 6-for-7 in the two games, and was a bright spot on the day and a spark plug that helped jump-start our offense at times,” Lukes said.

Suhr started on the hill for five runs — three earned — in three innings on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. McGough pitched a pair of shutout innings on a single hit. Rodriguez worked the scoreless, hitless sixth and seventh for five strikeouts and the win.

Valley City (13-1 District, 23-6 overall) hosts Lisbon at 5 p.m. Monday for a District-non-District doubleheader. Babe Ruth defeated Lisbon 12-9 and 6-3 June 12 at Lisbon, N.D., and the juniors scored seven runs on Lisbon in June 21’s fourth inning to take the Enderlin Tournament Fifth-Place Game, 8-7.