On Friday, July 5, the Williston Keybirds had two games on the docket in Rapid City, South Dakota. As it turned out, Williston lost the first game to Premier West in eight innings, 3-2, then lost the second game of the evening to Rapid City Post 320, 5-4.
In the first contest against Premier West, it was a highly contested pitcher’s duel through the first three innings. Neither team was able to break the scoreless tie until the bottom of the fourth, when the Keybirds, playing as the home team, drew first blood. Chance Johnson came through with an RBI triple, which scored baserunner Jaxson Meyer. Later in the frame, Johnson himself would come around to score on a wild pitch, giving Williston a 2-0 advantage.
In the sixth inning, Premier West would answer back with a pair of runs of their own to tie up the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the seventh, and with the game tied up, the Keybirds managed to get two runners aboard with just one out in the inning. However, Williston failed to cash as both runners were left stranded, sending the ballgame into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, a sacrifice bunt by Mariano Guerrero drove in a run and gave Premier West a 3-2 edge they would not relinquish. In the bottom half of the frame, Williston again had two runners aboard, but failed to score in the inning.
Collectively, Premier West accounted for seven hits in the game, compared to just two for Williston. Keybirds starting pitcher Jake Engen got a no-decision as he went seven full innings, allowing no earned runs to go with five strikeouts. Reliever Jack Heen took the loss for Williston.
In the second ballgame of the evening against Rapid City Post 320, Williston fell behind 5-0 after four innings. In the fifth, the Keybirds got on the scoreboard thanks to an RBI single by Garret Hill, making the score 5-1. Williston added three more runs in the sixth to trim the deficit to 5-4.
Williston, trailing by a run in the final inning, went down in order in the seventh as Rapid City went on to claim the victory. Fielding issues plagued the Keybirds in the contest as they committed four total errors.
On Saturday, July 6, the Keybirds lost the first game of the afternoon to Rapid City, 3-2, then went on to defeat Sturgis Post 33, 8-3. Now 13-14-1 on the season, Williston will return to Ardean Aafedt Stadium for their next doubleheader matchup with Mandan on Monday, July 8.