Red Sox clobber Sioux Falls Wild Wings

Red Sox clobber Sioux Falls Wild Wings by Steven Thum Coming off wins over Dell Rapids PBR, the defending state champions, and Redfield, who eliminated the Red Sox from the state tournament last year, the Vermillion Red Sox took on Sioux Falls Wild Wings on Friday night at Prentis Park.

Earlier in the week, the Red Sox moved to the #1 ranking in the state "B" amateur baseball poll. They demonstrated why they are the top team in the state by crushing Sioux Falls Wild Wings 20-0.

The game was delayed by 20 minutes due to rain. After the players hit the field, the skies remained cloudy, and the rain would be intermittent throughout the game.

It would prove to be a factor as the game progressed.

Sioux Falls starting pitcher Matt Halverson had a tough time getting a good grip on the wet ball.

Halverson walked the first three batters he faced to load the bases. Steve Fejfar's ground out scored a run. Two wild pitches scored two more runs and though they had yet to get a hit, Vermillion scored three runs.

It would get worse for Wild Wings from there. Another walk put a runner on for Chress Murdoch, who tripled to make it 4-0.

A passed ball brought Murdoch home, and Vermillion led 5-0.

Meanwhile, Billy Welcher, the Vermillion starter, didn't seem to have the same problems dealing with the wet conditions. He cruised through the first couple of innings, facing only six batters.

The Red Sox got another run in the second. Jay Merrigan struck out to lead off, but the third strike got away from Sioux Falls catcher to allow Merrigan to reach first.

A wild pitch moved Merrigan into scoring position. An infield single by Robin Chute and a throwing error by Sioux Falls second baseman James Hanson allowed Merrigan to score.

Hanson was shaken up on the play, a major concern for Wild Wings, as they only had nine players suited up. But Hanson stayed in the game.

Vermillion piled on eight runs in the third, and chased Halverson from the hill. The righty did not record an out in that inning, as the first nine batters reached base, highlighted by Merrigan's three-run homer. Tony Buchholz came on in relief, and managed to retire the side, but Vermillion now led 14-0.

The Red Sox would end the game via the mercy rule in the bottom of the fourth as six runs would score without an out being recorded.

Merrigan, Brian Boyer, and Chute each scored three runs for the Red Sox.

Every starter but one had a hit, and every player for the Red Sox scored at least once. Merrigan had four RBIs.

Welcher pitched four innings of shutout ball to get the win. He fanned four and allowed just two hits.

The Wild Wings pitchers combined for seven wild pitches.

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