Vermillion Red Sox down Larchwood 19-4 by Steven Thum The Vermillion Red Sox used two big innings to power their way past rival Larchwood on a hot, muggy, Tuesday night at Prentis Park.
Both teams went scoreless in the first, as Red Sox righty Justin Berg was matched up against Larchwood southpaw Kelly Kooistra. But Kooistra lost his control in the second inning, and the Red Sox took advantage.
After getting the leadoff batter to ground out, a fly ball to short right field was dropped by Dan Gacke, and that opened the floodgates.
Chress Murdoch scorched a liner to center to put two runners on base, and Dave Holoch's double brought home one. Then three walks in a row allowed two more runs to score. A single by Jay Merrigan plated another run.
Dustin Moore hit a deep fly to center, which was good for a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 5-0.
The Red Sox were not done yet. After another walk, Colby Lessman doubled home two more runs to make it 7-0.
Larchwood struck back in the third. Jesse Blauwet hit a blooper over the mound that fell for an infield single. Koury Kramer blasted a home run to make it 7-2.
Chris Underberg singled with one out. After getting Dennis Simon to fly out to shortstop, it looked like Berg would get out of the inning. But back-to-back doubles by Gacke and Jayden Lorenzen put two more runs on the board. Berg fanned Kully Kramer to end the inning, but Larchwood was right back in it, down 7-4.
Vermillion would not score in the third, but turned up the heat in the fourth.
Kooistra gave up a single to Merrigan to start the inning, then the lefty walked the next two batters to load the bases. That was it for Kooistra, as he was replaced on the mound by Gacke.
Lessman hit a fly to deep right that was caught, but the fly out scored a run. Murdoch doubled in another run and put two runners in scoring position. Holoch hit a grounder to shortstop that was mishandled, and Holoch ended up on first while a run scored to make it 10-4.
Things would get worse for Larchwood. Back-to-back singles by David Lee and Brett Bartling would score another run and put two runners on base. Gacke retired Robin Chute for the second out, but Merrigan knocked a three-run dinger to make it 15-4.
Dustin Moore kept the rally going with a single. Steve Fejfar walked to put two runners on again. Lessman singled to bring home Moore, but was tagged out trying to stretch the hit into a double. Larchwood finally got to go back to their dugout, but they were now down 12 runs.
Murdoch took over for Berg in the fourth inning, and shut down the Larchwood bats, holding the visitors scoreless for three innings.
That would all the longer he would need to be on the hill. Vermillion scored one more run in the fifth inning as Murdoch led off with a double, advanced on a passed ball, then scored on a ground out to make it 17-4.
The game would end via the mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth as Merrigan led off with a walk to set things up for Moore, who lauched a home run over the scoreboard in left field to end the game 19-4.
Merrigan scored four runs for the Red Sox and drove in four on a homer and two singles. Moore scored three runs, as did Murdoch.
Bartling singled twice, scored twice, and had three RBIs. Every Red Sox starter scored at least once.
Berg went three innings for the Red Sox in a starting role. He gave up four runs on six hits, fanning three and walking none. Murdoch pitched three innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit and striking out two.
Underberg garnered three hits for Larchwood, while Kramer hit a home run.
The Red Sox, rated #1 in Class B amateur baseball, travel to Parkston on Monday night, July 7, then play host to the Class A Yankton Riverbats on Thursday night, July 10, and the Dell Rapids Mudcats for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, July 12.