Crestview’s Dickey shuts down South Range
By ERIC FORTUNE
The South Range and Crestview baseball teams split two matchups in April.
The Rebels’ Dylan Dickey was the difference maker in round three.
Dickey, who shut down the Raiders a month ago, was locked in again after two early singles as Crestview beat South Range 5-2 in a Division III district semifinal at Bob Cene Park.
Crestview (13-10) got it going in the top of the first as a Devin Turvey triple and a Tyler Hurd single gave them a 2-0 lead.
Turvey went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
The Raiders (17-8) seemed poised to respond after Jared Bajerski and Randy Skripac led off the bottom half of the inning with singles.
Instead, Dickey dug in to strike out the side.
“It couldn’t have been a bigger inning offensively or defensively,” Crestview coach Dan Hill said. “They got their first two guys on and we strike the side out. That was the key for setting the tone. That was something we talked about, just the execution and doing what we’re capable of doing regardless of who we play.”
South Range coach Jim Hanek agreed the first inning was pivotal.
“We walk a kid,” he said. “They run into a ball and triple and put two up to start. Back we come, first and second, nobody out — it’s deflating.”
Dickey settled in from there retiring nine out the next 10 batters he faced. Hill felt his location and working ahead in the counts served him well.
He finished with seven strikeouts.
“He really commanded the baseball,” Hanek said. “He was able to get ahead of hitters. He had all of his pitches working. He could really throw them at any point in the count. He did a great job of keeping our hitters off balance today.
“His changeup is nasty. That works down and away on our right-handed hitters. He really gave our kids some problems today.”
Dickey struggled against the one and two hitters for the Raiders, who combined to go 5 for 8 against him, but the Raiders’ 3-4-5 hitters were 0 for 11 with just one RBI.
“He’s done that for us all year,” Hill said. “I think he was trying to strike people out last year and being too fine. He trusts people now. He goes out and throws strikes and makes them put the ball in play. He let us play behind him. It’s not a one-man show.”
Said Dickey: “It’s just about composure. Everybody keeping their composure and keeping everybody in check. We’re a pretty confident ball team. We make an error, we’ll get the next one. We’re never going to quit. We’re going to keep fighting.”
The Rebels added a run in the third and two in the fourth to take a commanding 5-0 lead as Crestview worked the pitch counts on Michael Cunningham.
Crestview finished with just six hits in the game but got the big hit when necessary.
The Raiders had their chances in the final three innings, but stranded six runners.
Crestview will meet Cardinal Mooney in a district final at 6:30 tonight.