Red Sox beat Flandreau Cardinals 11-1 by Steven Thum The Vermillion Red Sox were the last team to begin play at the State B Amateur Baseball Tournament on Tuesday night, Aug. 14 in Sioux Falls.
Rain nearly cancelled the night's games, but despite cloudy skies, the rain stayed away long enough to get the scheduled games in and the Red Sox came away victorious, 11-1 over Flandreau.
The Flandreau Cardinals had already won two games at the tournament, and had to take on the Red Sox to advance to the quarterfinals.
Things started off well for the Cardinals, as two Vermillion errors in the top of the first led to a run. But a great sliding catch in rightfield by Cory Lessman ended the Flandreau threat.
The Red Sox would capitalize on Flandreau mistakes to score in the bottom of the first. Dusty Moore led off with a walk and promptly stole second, then Jim McNaughton reached on an error by Flandreau shortstop Rick Weber.
Weber committed another error as Jason Huska hit a grounder up the middle, and the Cardinal shortstop's throw to second to start a doubleplay went wide of secondbaseman Chris Long. Moore scored on the miscue and McNaughton went to third. One out later, Steve Fejfar singled to give the Red Sox a 2-1 advantage.
Between the two teams, four errors were committed in the first inning. But the Red Sox defense would tighten up, and not commit another error the rest of the way.
The Red Sox broke the game open in the bottom of the second as they pushed six runs across the plate, chasing Cardinal starter Pedro Johnson in the process.
Vermillion got a one-out double from Cory Lessman to start the rally. Moore smacked a double to bring home Lessman. McNaughton tripled to rightfield to plate Moore. Huska singled and that brought home McNaughton. Chris Belding singled to put two runners on base, and that was all for Johnson as Weber came on in relief.
The veteran righty gave up a single to Fejfar, which brought home Huska. Colby Lessman singled to bring home Belding. Weber uncorked a wild pitch which brought home Jay Merrigan, the courtesy runner for Fejfar.
Weber managed to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs to score, but Vermillion now led 8-1.
Meanwhile, Scott Sebo, the Red Sox starter, was cruising on the hill. He retired the side in order in the third and fourth, and pitched out of a jam in the fifth without allowing Flandreau to score.
Vermillion manufactured another run in the fifth inning as Jon Merrigan led off with a single. Cory Lessman laid down a sacrifice bunt which moved Merrigan to second. Moore's groundout to first put Merrigan on third. Weber unleashed another wild pitch, and Merrigan trotted home to make it 9-1.
The Red Sox kept up the pressure in the sixth as Belding singled with one out to start another rally. Fejfar singled again and Jay Merrigan came on as the courtesy runner. Weber uncorked another wild pitch to put two runners in scoring position. Colby Lessman hit a fly ball to right which was caught, but Belding scored on the sacrifice fly and Merrigan moved to third. Kyle Thousand singled to bring home another run, and Vermillion had an 11-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh.
It was up to Sebo and the Red Sox defense to hold Flandreau scoreless in the top of the seventh to get a win via the mercy rule.
Johnson, now at shortstop for Flandreau, led off by hitting a deep drive to leftfield which was caught by McNaughton. Donnie Strom grounded out for the second out, then Moore made a great leaping grab of a line drive by Kyle Johnston to retire the side and end the contest.
Every Red Sox hitter collected at least one hit, as Vermillion pounded out 13 hits. Fejfar singled three times and Belding had two singles. Moore, McNaughton, Belding and Jay Merrigan each scored twice.
Sebo pitched all seven innings for the Red Sox, allowing just one run and four hits. Sebo walked one and struck out one.
Johnson was saddled with the loss for Flandreau as he was shelled for seven runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 innings of work. Weber pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief, giving up four runs and seven hits.
With the win, the Red Sox moved on to a quarterfinal matchup against Dell Rapids PBR on Thursday night, Aug. 16. Dell Rapids beat Larchwood earlier on Tuesday 9-6.