Red Sox earn berth in state tourney by Steven Thum The Vermillion Red Sox advanced to the District 7B title game, and secured a spot in the State B Tournament, by downing Lennox Heartland Medical 13-4 Aug. 4 at Prentis Park.
Lennox threatened early on, as a single by Darren Terveen and a couple of walks issued by Red Sox starter Jay Berkenpas loaded the bases with only one out. But Scott Simpson hit a pop-up in foul territory that was caught by catcher Steve Fejfar, and Dan Conrad hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Dustin Moore, who scooped up the ball and threw to Jon Merrigan at first to retire the side.
The Red Sox, fired up by their defense, got on the board right away against Lennox starter Darren Terveen. Moore drew a walk, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch. Jim McNaughton hit a double to plate Moore. Jason Huska followed with a two-run homer, and Vermillion was up 3-0. One out later, Steve Fejfar blasted a solo homer to make it 4-0.
Terveen was roughed up in the second as well as Moore reached on an error with one out. McNaughton singled, as did Huska, which scored Moore. Chris Belding doubled home McNaughton, and Fejfar followed with a single to score Huska to make it 7-0, and that was all for Terveen, who had pitched three innings the day before against the Vermillion Grey Sox.
Kevin Krull came on in relief, and retired the side to end the inning, but Berkenpas had a huge lead to work with.
Lennox got on the board in the third as Timm Gronseth led off with a double, and would later score on a groundout by Krull to make it 7-1.
The Red Sox scored again in the fourth as Fejfar hit another solo homer to make it 8-1.
Krull, who had started the day before and pitched six innings against the Grey Sox, showed signs of fatigue in the fifth as the Red Sox posted three more runs. With one out, Moore singled and then came home on a double by McNaughton. Huska collected another RBI as he doubled, but was erased on a fielder�s choice hit into by Belding. Fejfar kept the rally alive with a double that put Belding at third. Krull uncorked a wild pitch that brought home Belding to make it 11-1.
Lennox got a run in the sixth as Conrad singled with one out, and would score on a two-out double by Steve Krier.
In the bottom of the sixth, Colby Lessmann would lead off with a double. Jim Stegge reached on an error committed by Lennox shortstop Scott Warrington. After a sacrifice bunt by Jay Merrigan, Moore would double in both Lessmann and Stegge, and Krull�s day on the hill was over. Nick Poppe came on to retire McNaughton and Huska to end the frame but the Red Sox had a 13-2 lead.
Lennox needed two runs to avoid getting beat by the mercy rule. Singles by Gronseth and Terveen, and a walk to pinch-hitter Kory Williamson loaded the bases with no outs. Berkenpas gave way to reliever Scott Sebo, who got Simpson to ground into a doubleplay, where the Red Sox got the out at home and first. Conrad delievered a single to plate two and make it 13-4. Sebo would get out of the inning without any more runs scoring, but Lennox was still alive.
Rob Schoenhard came on to pitch for Lennox, and he would get out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh without allowing a run to score, then retire the Red Sox in order in the eighth.
But Sebo would not let Lennox back into the game, shutting them out in the last two innings to preserve the win for the Red Sox.
Steve Fejfar had a monster game for Vermillion, hitting two solo homers, three singles, and driving in three runs. Jason Huska homered, singled twice, scored three times, and collected four RBIs. Jim McNaughton doubled twice, singled, scored three runs, and had two RBIs. Dustin Moore singled and doubled, walked twice, and scored three runs. Colby Lessmann singled twice, doubled, and scored once.
Timm Gronseth and Darren Terveen each had three hits and a run scored to lead Lennox.
Jay Berkenpas pitched six innings to get the win, allowing four runs on nine hits, walking five and fanning four. Scott Sebo pitched three shutout innings to notch the save, allowing just two hits.
Darren Terveen took the loss for Lennox.
With the win, the Rex Sox play Larchwood on Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. for the District 7B title at Prentis Park. Both teams will go to the State B Tournament in Mitchell.