Sioux City Saints shut out Vermillion Red Sox

Sioux City Saints shut out Vermillion Red Sox On a sunny night with just a slight chill in the air, the Sioux City Saints shut out the Vermillion Red Sox 2-0 at Prentis Park on Sunday night.

It was an old-fashioned pitcher's duel, but with a different twist.

Coming off a 11-7 victory over Brandon Valley, the Red Sox bats were in high gear. But two Saints pitchers shut down the potent Vermillion offense.

Joel Rosacker started on the mound for Sioux City, and only allowed one hit in his four innings of work. The lanky right hander fanned three and walked one.

The only threat Vermillion posted against Rosacker came in the third when Jay Berkenpas led off with a single, and ended up on second when leftfielder Matt Weierhauser bobbled the ball while fielding it.

Jay Merrigan came to the plate and tried to lay down a bunt to advance the runner. But Merrigan's bunt went right to Rosacker, who gunned down Berkenpas trying to slide into third. Vermillion would not get a runner to second base the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, Red Sox starting pitcher Billy Welcher was firing on all cylinders. He fanned five in a row in the early innings, striking out the side in both the second and fifth innings.

After five scoreless frames, Sioux City got on the board in the sixth when Weierhauser blasted a solo homer off of Welcher.

J.D. Scholten had taken over for Rosacker starting in the fifth, and this tall right hander was just as dominant as the man he replaced on the hill.

In the eighth, Welcher walked Paul Bucheit to lead off. Then, after firing two pitches to Brodie Clark, Welcher signalled to the bench that he could not continue. His arm had tightened up, and he was done for the night.

Scott Sebo came on in relief, and fanned Clark for the first out. Bob Protexter rapped out a single, his second hit of the game to put runners at the corners. Nick Marlow laid down a bunt. Sebo tried to field the ball, but it went past him for an error, allowing Bucheit to score to make it 2-0.

Sebo settled down and retired the next two batters on a groundout and strikeout, but the Saints' lead had been padded.

It would be more than enough for Scholten, who was rolling along. He allowed a single in the eighth to Merrigan, but shut down the next two batters to end the threat. In the ninth, Vermillion catcher Colby Lessman reached on an error with two outs, but brother Cory Lessman flied out to right to end the game.

Scholten picked up the win by firing five innings of shutout relief. He allowed three hits, fanned six, and walked none.

Welcher was saddled with the tough luck loss. He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs, only one of them earned. Welcher struck out 10 and walked just two. Though he left with an injury, it appears that the problem is not severe, and the right hander, who has been a workhorse for the Red Sox over the last few years, should not miss any action.

Sebo pitched two innings of relief, holding the Saints scoreless. He did walk two, but struck out five and allowed just one base hit.

Weierhauser had the big home run for the Saints, the game-winning hit. It was his only hit of the night. Protexter had two hits for Sioux City.

Berkenpas had two singles for the Red Sox.

Vermillion turned one doubleplay and stranded six base runners. The Saints left seven runners on base.

The Red Sox will host Renner on Tuesday, June 12, and then take on the Grey Sox the following night. Both games will be at Prentis Park, and both will start at 7:30 p.m.

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