Red Sox win two at state tournament The Vermillion Red Sox, rated No. 1 in the last Class B poll, got off to a good start at the State "B" Amateur Baseball Tournament by winning their first two games.
On Saturday afternoon, the Red Sox blanked the Wynot Expos 10-0, ending the game early via the mercy rule. Jay Berkenpas fanned 10 batters in shutting down the Expos. Cress Murdock singled, doubled, and drove in three runs. Brian Boyer and Dustin Moore each had two hits for the Red Sox.
With the win, the Red Sox advanced to a second round game against the Sisseton Redbirds on Tuesday night.
Again, the Red Sox jumped out to an early lead. With one out in the bottom of the first, Boyer doubled, and came home on a single by Moore who promptly stole second base, then stole third base. Steve Fejfar hit a deep fly to center for the sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Vermillion would have a big inning in the fourth, as Boyer walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch by Redbirds starter Matt Paulson, then came home an a Redbird error to make it 3-0.
Moore was thrown out trying to steal second, and Fejfar popped out for the second out. But the Red Sox would start a two-out rally as Jason Huska singled, then scored on a triple by Murdock. Colby Lessman followed with a two-run home run to make it 6-0.
Red Sox starter Billy Welcher cruised through the first seven innings of work on the hill, holding the Redbirds scoreless, and allowing just two hits.
The Red Sox got another two-out rally going in the fifth inning. Lessman doubled, and was brought home by a Jon Merrigan single. Jay Merrigan drew a walk, and Robin Chute's sharp single to left loaded the bases. Boyer again came up big for Vermillion with a clutch two-RBI single to make it 9-0.
It looked like the Red Sox would score more, but Moore's hard grounder up the middle was tracked down by Redbirds secondbaseman Matt Amdahl to get the third out and keep it at 9-0.
The Red Sox had scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings, but couldn't get that 10th run home to get the mercy rule win.
Sisseton would finally break through in the top of the eighth as the weather turned sour. The Redbirds would collect five hits, and take advantage of an error by Welcher to post four runs on the board. The lead Vermillion had suddenly shrunk to five runs.
The rains came in the bottom of the eighth, but Vermillion could not score. With heavy rains pouring down in the top of the ninth, the Redbirds would get one more run on the board against a tiring Welcher, but it wouldn't be enough as the Red Sox held on to win 9-5.
Both Welcher and Paulson went the distance on the hill for their respective teams. Welcher struck out seven and walked one while surrendering nine hits.
Paulson fanned two and walked three while giving up seventeen hits.
Lessman homered and doubled to lead the Red Sox offense. Boyer singled, doubled, and drove in two runs. Huska singled three times, while Jon Merrigan hit two singles and a double, and Chute singled and doubled as part of the 17 hits the Red Sox collected.
Bryan Krump singled twice, scored once, and had one RBI to lead the Redbirds, who end their season at 17-6.
With the win, the Red Sox advance to the quarterfinals to play the Dell Rapids Mudcats on Friday at 6 p.m. The state tournament is being played at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.