Miners Take Down Bison in Coal Country!

HAZEN – The spring edition of the much anticipated annual “Coal Bowl” took place in Hazen, ND as the Bison hosted the Beulah Miners for a Region 8 showdown on the diamond for ultimate bragging rights. The conditions were near perfect for a ball game with sunny skies, a slight breeze andnear sixty degree temps at first pitch. Jayce Zuern took the mound for the home standing Bison as he was opposed by Beulah’s Aaron Villejo.

The Miners took advantage of a walk and HBP delivered by Zuern as they struck first to gain a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Beulah then proceeded to hit Zuern three straight times in the third inning where the Miners extended their lead to 4-0. Hazen answered quickly with three runs of their own in the fourth to close the gap to 4-3.

The Bison would tie the game at four as Lawson Babb would drive in Thomas Leintz in the bottom of the fifth inning. Vallejo and the Miners didn’t concede as they would score the last three runs of the game and shut the door on the Bison comeback to win by a final score of 7-4 in coal country.

[TJ Meyer | April 22, 2017]

Miners Rout H.R. in Region 8 Battle

BEULAH – Goldman Field was the sight of a newly budding baseball rivalry in Western North Dakota on Tuesday evening. Rain earlier in the day paired with mid-thirty degree temperatures at first pitch, made for less than ideal conditions, but did not cool down the excitement. Heart River entered the game without a win on the season and had only scored one run in all of their previous games combined.

Beulah Miners starting pitcher made quick and easy work of the new Region 8 baseball team by jumping out to a 5-0 advantage after just two innings. Beulah never looked back as they blew the game wide open in the third inning of play as Aaron Villejo cleared the bases for the Miners on a three run double to deep left field to increase their lead to 10-0. The Heart River Cougars still have some building to do within their fresh Region 8 program, but did show some heart on the field as they eventually fell to the Beulah Miners by a final score of 13-0.

[TJ Meyer | April 18, 2017]

Bison Hook the Hawks at Slendy

HAZEN – Slendy Field was the site of an NDHSAA baseball clash between the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks from Bismarck and the Hazen Bison. A bright sunny day paired with blustery winds set the scene for a much anticipated game between these rivals in western North Dakota. Jayce Zuern took the mound as the starting pitcher for the Bison and struggled with his command originally, but managed to get out of an early jam in the first inning by getting a timely strikeout for out number three.

The Bison offense threatened in the home half of the first inning, but nothing came of it as the Skyhawks turned a beautiful 6-4-3 double play to end the threat as well as the first inning of play from Slendy Field.

Starting pitchers Jared Baumiller and Jayce Zuern were both working very quickly and effectively as they both retired the side until Hazen’s number nine hitter Brandon Snyder drilled one up the middle for a base hit in the bottom of the third inning. Baumiller would then send Snyder into scoring position after he delivered a wild pitch to the backstop with just one out. Snyder would then advance into third base after yet another past ball. The Shiloh pitcher would also surrender his first walk thereafter to put Bison base runners at the corners with just one out.

Hazen would score the first run of the game on Baumiller’s third wild pitch of the inning to send Snyder across the plate from third. Peyton Leintz would then dump a pitch into shallow center field for an RBI single to push the Bison ahead 2-0. Leintz would then represent the third run to plate for Hazen in the inning as he would score on an E4 all the way from second base to increase the Bison advantage to 3-0. The Skyhawks answered back with two runs themselves in the sixth inning to close the gap to 3-2 thanks to a Jared Baumiller RBI Double.

Seth Oberlander would add an insurance run for the Bison on his two out RBI single in the home half of the sixth to grab a 4-2 lead for Hazen.  Jayce Zuern took the mound in the top of the 7th to attempt to close out his masterful pitching effort and a complete game. Zuern was only able to retire one batter and was relieved by Isaac Doll who closed out the remaining two outs needed to seal the 4-2 victory for Hazen.

[TJ Meyer | April 13, 2017]

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.

Haugenoe dazzled in his final start of 2016-17, making numerous highlight reel saves but could not avoid the loss. Affiliate netminder Ethan Peterson stepped in for Austin, stopping 20 shots for his first career victory.

With the loss, the Bobcats finish at 28-30-2—their first sub-.500 finish since 2007-08.

Saturday’s contest marks the end of the junior careers of the Bobcats’ 1996 birthyears: Kennedy, Tobias Fladeby, Jordan Fralich and Jiei Halliday—along with Will Ulrich and Kyle Siemers who both finished the year on the injured reserve.

In all, the Bobcats have 21 players from their final roster who will be eligible to return for 2017-18.

[April 9, 2017]