Opening pitch thrown for VHS baseball season by Jim Prosser Tanager baseball is upon us as the Vermillion team faced the Yankton Bucks in a JV/Varsity double header Thursday, April 3 played at Prentis Park in Vermillon.
High school baseball is a recognized club sport (unfunded) by the SDAA and each local school district. Every team is financed by fund raisers, ticket and gate receipts, and donations from interested groups or individuals. All expenses are the responsibility of the club, including uniforms, equipment, umpires, etc.
Vermillion is in Class B of the SESD region which has eight member schools.
Gone from last years' team (by graduation) are Dave Hanson, Brett Mockler, Eric Rickord, and Jeff Gilbertson but Coach Jason Gault has a 17-man roster which which includes the following: Danny Holoch, senior, P/3B; Drew Lawrence, senior, P/3B; Andy Ofstehage, senior, C; Jared Burcham, junior, outfield; BJ Campbell, junior, outfield; Collin Prosser, junior, 1stB; Jordan Anderson, sophomore, OF/1stB; Kevin Bleil, sophomore, P/1stB; Alan Bos, sophomore, 1stB; Jason Donald, sophomore, P/infield; Ryan Mockler, sophomore, outfield; Kyle Mollet, sophomore, SS; Ben Oberle, sophomore, 2ndB; Brad Schaack, sophomore, P/3B; Brandon Hanson, freshman,C; Tim Bleil, eighth grade, SS; Zach Weiss, eighth grade, outfield.
"Pitching will be Vermillion's strength led by Drew Lawrence and Danny Holoch. Kevin Bleil will add a good look from the left side of the mound," said coach Gault. "With these three providing a solid rotation, Brad Schaack and Jason Donald can fill the relief roles. Andy Ofstehage will call the shots behind the plate while providing good offensive production.
"Team speed will be excellent this year. BJ Campbell and Jared Burcham are return starters in the oufield and add to the team speed threat," he said. "Although we are young, we have an experienced group of players with good fundamentals. We may not score a lot of runs, but with quality pitching and speed, I believe we can compete with anyone in the state. Our goal is to return to the region tourney and see what happens."
There are 18 games on the schedule, mostly junior varsity/varsity doubleheaders, and some against Class A teams.