On Thursday, June 27, the Williston Keybirds were on the road against Mandan and won the first game of their doubleheader matchup with the Chiefs, 6-2. By virtue of the win, Williston was able to put an end to their three-game losing skid.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Keybirds answered back with a run in the second, and two more in the fourth. With two men down and facing a 1-2 count in the batter’s box, one of Williston’s all-state performers, Brady Aberle, came through with a line drive RBI single to left, giving his club their first run of the game.
In the fourth, Williston’s other all-state player, Garret Hill, drove in two more runs with an RBI single to right. At that point, the Keybirds enjoyed a 3-1 edge on the scoreboard. However, Mandan manufactured a run of their own in the bottom half of the fifth to close the gap to 3-2.
The top of the seventh proved to be a big inning for Williston’s offense as they put together three runs for a little insurance. Jack Heen and Jake Engen both recorded sacrifice flies in the frame, and the Keybirds scored again by virtue of a Mandan fielding error for their final run that inning.
On the mound, Williston used two pitchers in the game, Aberle and Heen. Both pitchers combined to allow two earned runs on five hits while striking out six and allowing just two walks. Aberle, the starting pitcher, completed four innings and was credited with the win.
However, things did not go the Keybirds way in the second contest of the day as they were defeated by the Chiefs, 7-0. Now 10-11-1 on the season, Williston’s next scheduled showdown is a conference twin bill with Fargo 400, at Ardean Aafedt Stadium, on Tuesday, July 2.