Vermillion Red Sox win state tournament opener

Vermillion Red Sox win state tournament opener by Steve Thum The Vermillion Red Sox, fresh from their District 7B championship win, which earned them a first round bye, took on the Flandreau Cardinals in their first game of the 1999 State Amateur Baseball Tournament Sunday night at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

Flandreau, the regular-season Cornbelt League champs, beat Irene in the first round 13-7, but fell 6-2 to Vermillion.

Both teams have been powerhouse clubs over the years, and the last time they met in the state tournament was 1996 in Sioux Falls when Vermillion topped Flandreau, the top-ranked team in the state that had only lost once that season. Vermillion eventually lost to Dell Rapids PBR in the title game.

Vermillion, the visiting team in this game, got on the scoreboard right away. They posted two runs in the first inning off of Flandreau starter Donnie Strom. The Red Sox added two more in the second to give Vermillion starting pitcher Josh Merrigan a comfortable cushion early in the contest.

Merrigan would make that early lead stand up by shutting down the Flandreau bats for seven innings. By the end of the fifth frame, the tall southpaw had already registered 10 strikeouts.

Vermillion put one run on the board in the sixth and eighth innings to add some insurance to their lead. Merrigan gave up a couple of runs in the eighth, but that was all the Cornbelt League champs would get. Rudy Ramos came on to pitch the ninth and slammed the door shut on Flandreau's season.

Merrigan pitched eight innings to get the win for Vermillion. Jason Huska got two RBIs to lead the Vermillion offense.

Vermillion pitching limited the Cardinals to just six hits, and Flandreau hurt themselves by committing three errors. Vermillion pounded out 13 hits and did not commit an error in the field.

The Red Sox advance to the next round to face Dimock-Emery, a team that has a win over the Red Sox in the regular season.

Runs Hits Errors

Verm. 6 13 0

Fland. 2 6 3

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