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Titan pitcher Gage Murphey throws a fastball past Spearfish second baseman Lucas Mehmen on Monday night at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish.
Photo by Terry Anderson
Titan pitcher Gage Murphey throws a fastball past Spearfish second baseman Lucas Mehmen on Monday night at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish.

Sturgis Post 33 uses ‘small ball’ to produce big runs in win over Spearfish Post 164

Terry Anderson, KBHB Sports - July 6, 2020

SPEARFISH, S.D. -- The Sturgis Post 33 Titans got out to a slow start at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish after a one-hour rain delay, but exploded for 16 runs in the top of the fourth to beat Spearfish Post 164 by a score of 21-0.

Sturgis led 3-0 after two innings behind a single by shortstop Owen Cass and a two-RBI triple by Dustin Alan.  Both Spearfish and Sturgis were scoreless in the third inning, until Titan head coach Dominic Bradford used a ‘small ball’ strategy to get some runners on base and forcing Post 164 to make plays on defense.

“Our guys weren’t seeing the ball very well through the first few innings,” Bradford said.  “Playing a little small ball puts pressure on the defense and helps our hitters pick up the release point on the pitcher.  Once we started bunting the bats came alive."

The strategy worked.  Cass led off the top of the fourth with a single to get to first base.  R.J. Andrezjewski bunted to get to first safely, moving Cass to second.  Alan laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line on the next pitch to load the bases.  Leadoff hitter Ridge Inhofer also bunted down the third base line, moving Cass across home plate to give the Titans a 4-0 lead.

Then the floodgates opened with a two-RBI double by David Anderson, an RBI bunt single by Dylan Gillespie, and a two-RBI single by Colton Cruickshank.  Twenty two Titans made plate appearances in the top of the fourth.  Post 33 put up 14 runs on Spearfish starting pitcher Alec Sundsted before he was replaced by Danner Craig with one out in the fourth.  Craig lasted just a third of an inning and gave up two more runs before Spearfish head coach Isaac Taylor brought in right hander Jaden Olssen who ended the onslaught.  Sturgis led 19-0 after four innings.  The Titans added two more runs in the top of the fifth and defeated Spearfish 21-0 in five innings due to the mercy rule.  Bradford had a good feeling about his starting lineup.

"I liked the lineup heading into the game because the nine guys have been seeing the ball well and I had Gage (Murphey) on the mound," he said.  "Anytime Gage is pitching I know we can compete with anyone."

Titan right hander Murphey pitched a complete game gem, allowing only two Spearfish hits and no runs through five innings.  Murphey threw 80 pitches in the win, walking two and striking out ten Post 164 batters.  Sundsted took the loss for Spearfish.

The Titans racked up 19 hits and left 8 on base.  Sturgis Subs Player of the Game Owen Cass had a great game at the plate, going 4-4 with four RBIs and scoring three runs.  Titan catcher Zack Hess was 3-4 with three singles and two RBI.  Ty Seiber and Conner Comer each had a hit for Spearfish.

Post 33, now 18-7 on the season, faces Brandon Valley Post 131 on Saturday in Spearfish at 1pm.


Visit the KBHB Radio Sports page on YouTube to hear the radio broadcast of Post 33's win over Spearfish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCxFZYnOBzM

Phone number: 605-347-4455
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Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785