Vermillion Red Sox win District 7B title

Vermillion Red Sox win District 7B title by Steven Thum The Vermillion Red Sox claimed another District 7B title by downing Lennox S&D Flooring 12-4 on Aug. 7 in Larchwood.

The Red Sox got on the board right away. With one out in the bottom of the first, Brian Boyer hit a blooper into short left field which fell in for a double. After a fly ball out, Steve Fejfar smacked a single which brought home Boyer for a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

It didn't take long for Lennox to respond as Scott Warrington led off the second inning with a solo home run to tie the score at 1-1.

The Red Sox regained the lead in the bottom of the third as Jay Merrigan led off with a single, but was erased on a fielder's choice which put Robin Chute on first. Chute stole second, and came home on a single by Boyer.

Dustin Moore hit a single to put two runners on base. Fejfar smashed a double which scored one, Boyer, but Moore was thrown out at the plate. Lennox starter Ken Longman managed to get out of the inning unscathed after that, but the Red Sox now led 3-1.

Vermillion tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth as Colby Lessman led off with a single. Jon Merrigan hit a single which advanced Lessman to third, but Merrigan got caught up in a rundown trying to advance to second.

Lessman headed home and beat the throw to the plate to make it 4-1, however, Merrigan was tagged out on the play.

After giving up the homer in the second inning, Red Sox starter Justin Berg cruised through the next couple of innings but got into trouble in the top of the fifth. After retiring the first batter, Darin Terveen singled, then Berg plunked Timm Gronseth to put two runners on base. Rob Miller came on in relief for the Red Sox, but Dan Conrad hit a double to plate Terveen.

Miller got Kevin Krull to hit a comeback grounder for the second out. A wild pitch brought home Gronseth to make it 4-3, but Miller struck out Warrington to end the threat.

Vermillion responded with a big rally in the bottom of the fifth. Fejfar singled to lead off against Longman, who had to leave the game with an injury after Fejfar's single. Darin Terveen came on in relief as Jim Stegge went in as the courtesy runner for Fejfar.

Terveen retired the next Red Sox batter, Jason Huska, on a grounder to first which moved Stegge to second. Cress Murdock drew a walk, and Lessman hustled out an infield single to load the bases. After striking out Jon Merrigan, Terveen hit Jay Merrigan with a pitch to bring home a run.

Chute was up next, and Murdock, on third base, stole home. Chute hit a grounder to second, which got past Gronseth to bring home two runs. Chute stole second, and came home on another single by Boyer, his third hit of the game.

Terveen got Moore to hit into a fielder's choice for the final out, but Vermillion now led 9-3.

The Red Sox would add to that lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Huska singled, and Murdock blasted a two-run homer to make it 11-3.

Jay Merrigan would be hit by a pitch again to lead off in the bottom of the seventh and score on a double by Chute, who would be called out in a rundown trying to get to third. The Red Sox now led 12-3.

Miller was making the Red Sox lead stand up by holding Lennox scoreless through the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. A couple of errors in the top of the ninth led to a Lennox run, but Krull hit into a double play to end the contest with Vermillion on top 12-4.

Miller got the win in relief, allowing two hits in 4 and 2/3 innings. He walked two, hit two batters, and struck out four.

Longman took the loss for Lennox, allowing five runs in four innings of work before he left the game with an injury. The veteran righthander surrendered 11 hits.

Fejfar, Lessman, and Boyer all collected three hits for the Red Sox. Jay Merrigan had two singles, was hit twice by a pitch, and scored two runs. The Red Sox banged out 16 hits.

Gronseth had two singles for Lennox, while Terveen scored two runs.

Vermillion turned two double plays, while Lennox had one twin-killing. The Red Sox stranded six baserunners, while Lennox left eight men on base.

The Red Sox are now the top seeded team representing District 7B at the State "B" Amateur Baseball Tournament, while Lennox is the number two seed.

The Vermillion Grey Sox, Newcastle A's, and Larchwood Diamonds also qualified for the state tournament out of District 7B.

The Grey Sox played Wessington Springs on Thursday at 1 p.m., and the Red Sox open against Wynot, NE, on Saturday at 1 p.m. The state tournament will be played at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

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