Red Sox win over Mudcats at tourney

Red Sox win over Mudcats at tourney by Steven Thum The Vermillion Red Sox opened the 2000 State B Amateur baseball tournament with a 12-5 victory over the Dell Rapids Mudcats on Thursday night, Aug. 10, at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

The Red Sox and Mudcats were the very first game on the schedule for this year�s tournament, and it didn�t take long for the Red Sox to score.

In the bottom of the first Kyle Thousand singled with one out, and the next batter, Jason Huska, blasted a two-run homer to give Vermillion an early 2-0 lead.

The Mudcats would come back in the top of the second. Matt Wilber doubled to lead off the frame, but was gunned down trying to steal third by Red Sox catcher Steve Fejfar. Brent Roemer drew a walk from Red Sox starter Thousand. Jeff Schultz hit a grounder to short for a force out at second, but the speedy Schultz beat the throw to first and avoided a doubleplay. That was key for the Mudcats, because the next batter, Greg Hilmoe, cranked a two-run tater to tie the game at 2-2.

Dell Rapids took the lead in the top of the third as the first three batters to come to the plate singled off of Thousand. Nate Henry�s single brought in Kris King to give the Mudcats a 3-2 lead.

The Mudcats would increase their lead in the top of the fourth as Chad Staden scored on a single by Brian Pfannenstein.

Vermillion stormed back in the bottom of the fourth. Fejfar smashed a hard grounder to short, but Don Hegge, a pickup player from Renner, couldn�t handle the hot smash, and Fejfar was safe on the error. Jay Merrigan came on as a courtesy runner for the Vermillion catcher. Merrigan would move to second when Wilber tried to pick off the speedy Merrigan at first, but instead, threw the ball away. With a runner on second, Wilber turned his attention to the man at the plate, Chris Belding. But Belding got the better of the matchup, knocking a two-run homer to tie the game up.

The Red Sox were not done scoring. With one out, Mitch Stewart hit a Texas leaguer that fell for a single in short right field. Devon Schwiesow reached base on an error by Mudcats second baseman Roemer, and Stewart moved to third. Dusty Moore would single to bring home Stewart, but Schwiesow was thrown out trying to advance to third. Still, the run counted, and Vermillion led 5-4.

The Red Sox would extend their lead in the bottom of the fifth as Thousand led off with a double down the left field line. Huska would reach base on an error to put runners at the corners. Wilber would retire the next two batters on a strikeout and a foul pop out, but Jon Merrigan would single to bring home Thousand. Stewart laced a single to center to load the bases. Jim McNaughton would deliver another two-out hit to bring home Huska and Merrigan, and Vermillion had an 8-4 advantage.

Wilber�s day on the mound was done, and Terry Olson came on in relief in the bottom of the sixth. But he was rudely greeted by Dusty Moore, who hit a solo homer to make the Red Sox lead 9-4. Thousand hit his fourth single, and Huska singled as well. Olson got Fejfar to hit a shallow fly to right, but the next batter, Belding, blasted a three-run homer, his second of the game, to make it 12-4.

The Mudcats would get a run in the top of the seventh as King led off with a triple and scored on a ground out. Vermillion still had a 12-5 lead.

Billy Welcher came on to pitch the final two innings for the Red Sox, and he only allowed one hit and no runs on sealing the victory for Vermillion.

Thousand picked up the win for the Red Sox, allowing five runs in his seven innings of work. Thousand fanned four and walked one. Welcher recorded three strikeouts and walked none in his relief role.

Thousand helped his cause at the plate, going four-for-four with three singles, a double, and three runs scored. Huska homered, singled, scored three runs and drove in two. Belding hit two home runs and drove in five runs. Moore homered and singled and had two RBIs. Stewart hit two singles and scored one run.

King tripled and singled for the Mudcats, and scored two runs. Henry collected two singles and an RBI.

Wilber took the loss for Dell Rapids, giving up eight runs on 10 hits in his five innings of work. Wilber walked none and struck out four. Olson only pitched a third of an inning, giving up four runs and two home runs. Barry Nagel pitched 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief for the Mudcats to close the game.

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