Red Sox defeat Menno 10-7 Aug. 18

Red Sox defeat Menno 10-7 Aug. 18 Rob Miller, a Vermillion Red Sox pick-up player from the Vermillion Grey Sox team, hurls a strike during action against Menno Aug. 18. (Photo by Steve Thum) by Steven Thum It wasn�t pretty, but the Vermillion Red Sox won their first game at the State �B� Amateur Baseball Tournament by beating Menno 10-7 on Sunday afternoon at Cadwell Park despite committing five errors.

The Red Sox exploded in the first inning against Menno starter Kent Sattler. Dustin Moore singled to lead off. Jim McNaughton followed by drawing a walk. Jason Huska singled to load the bases.

Then Chris Belding singled to bring home Moore and McNaughton. Huska moved to third, and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Sattler issued walks to Steve Fejfar and Colby Lessman to load the bases. Sattler got Jon Merrigan to ground into a fielder�s choice that cut down Belding at home. But a wild pitch brought home another run to make it 4-0.

Meanwhile Red Sox starter Billy Welcher was mowing down Menno batters. Welcher fanned the side in the second and third, and struck out two in the fourth to keep Menno scoreless.

Belding led off the third with a solo homer, and Jim Stegge did likewise in the fourth. The Red Sox had built up a 6-0 advantage.

Menno struck back in the fifth as Kyle Jellma led off by reaching base on an error. Jared Lang grounded into a fielder�s choice which erased Jellema but Lang was safe at first. Brian Vandriel hit a towering infield fly that was gloved by Jon Merrigan for the second out. Brett Sime singled to put runners at the corners, and Tom Gause delievered a single to plate Lang to make it 6-1.

Sattler was up next, and he smacked a homer to cut the Red Sox lead to 6-4. Jon Merrigan caught another towering infield fly by Ryan Liebl to end the inning.

The Red Sox got a couple of runs back in the bottom of the fifth as Jay Merrigan and Moore hit two-out RBI singles, and Sattler uncorked another wild pitch to bring home a run to make it 9-4.

McNaughton drew another walk after Moore�s single, and that was all for Sattler. Pickup player Joe Vavruska from Tabor came on to pitch and got Huska to fly out to right to end the inning.

Menno tried to get a rally going in the sixth, but Keith Sternhagen, a pickup player from Tabor, was caught stealing after lacing a single. Vavruska would single, but was stranded as Lang grounded out to retire the side.

Rob Miller, a pickup player from the Vermillion Grey Sox, came on to pitch in the seventh for the Red Sox. He allowed a Vandriel single to start things off, but left him stranded at third as the third out of the inning was recorded as Jon Merrigan handled a grounder from Sattler, now playing first base for Menno.

Vavruska held the Red Sox scoreless in the seventh, then delivered an RBI single in the top of the eighth as another Red Sox error started a Menno rally. Vandriel singled home another run against Miller, but the sidewinding righthander got Sime to pop up to Huska to end the threat. The Red Sox led 9-6.

Vermillion got an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Belding led off with a single, and one out later advanced to second as Cory Hoch, a pickup player from Akron, drew a walk. Jon Merrigan singled for the third straight time to plate Belding, but Hoch was tagged out in a rundown trying to get to third. Vavruska got out of the inning without any further damage, but Vermillion now lead 10-6 with just one inning to go.

But Menno would not go quietly. Back-to-back errors by Huska put two runners aboard with no outs. Liebl lined a single to right to load the bases. But Miller fanned Scott Sayler for the first out.

Sternhagen was up next, and hit a long drive to left centerfield. Hoch, who replaced starting leftfielder Lessman, raced into the gap to make a catch on the run for the second out. A run scored on the sacrifice fly to make it 10-7, but Hoch�s catch saved at least two runs, maybe three. Miller finished the game by striking out Vavruska.

Both teams stranded 10 baserunners.

Belding led the offense with a home run, two singles, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Jon Merrigan and Moore both singled three times and drove in a run. Jim Stegge homered and scored two runs.

Vandriel had three hits and an RBI to lead Menno. Sternhagen singled three times. scored once, and drove in a run. Sattler�s three run tater was his only hit.

Welcher went six innings in a starting role to get the win for the Red Sox. Welcher gave up four runs, three of them earned, struck out eight and walked just one. Miller pitched the last three innings to get the save, fanning four in the process and gave up three runs, two of them unearned.

Sattler lasted just four and two-thirds innings for Menno, and was saddled with the loss. The Menno lefty surrendered 10 hits and nine runs, walking six, striking out three, and unleashing four wild pitches. Vavruska was solid in relief, pitching three and one-third innings, giving up four hits and just one run.

With the win, Vermillion advanced to a quarterfinal matchup against Redfield on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Redfield won the B tournament in 2000.

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