Tanager baseball drops season-opener

Tanager baseball drops season-opener by Jim Prosser The Vermillion baseball team played Yankton Friday, March 26, at Riverside Park. The weather was not conducive for outdoor athletic endeavors but the Tanagers persevered through a six inning game in cool, windy conditions.

The first game of the season was won by the Bucks 9-3 with Luke Kathol going the distance giving up 3 runs on 7 hits, walking 2, and registering 7 Ks. The Tanagers used three pitchers with Brad Schaack being charged with the loss. He was followed on the mound by Jason Donald and Sam Laprath. Combined, the threesome gave up 9 runs, 9 hits, 3 BB, and 4 Ks.

Line scores: Bucks � 9 runs, 9 hits, 2 ers, 5 lob; Tanagers � 3 runs, 7 hits, 4 ers, 8 lob.

The players who scored for the Tanagers were Kyle Mollet who was 1 for 3 batting, Jason Donald (1 for 3, 1 RBI), and Ben Oberle who went 1 for 2. Jordan Anderson drove in a run, going 2 for 2 hitting and also reached base on a walk. Zach Weise went 1 for 2, and Brad Schaack hit 1 for 3.

The Tanagers' season record is 0-1.

High school baseball is a recognized club sport (un-funded) by the SDHSAA 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 Sioux Empire Baseball Assn. D region which has eight member schools.

Coach Jason Gault has a 23 man varsity/junior varsity roster which includes: Jared Burcham, senior, outfield; BJ Campbell, senior, outfield/ pitcher; Collin Prosser, senior, first base; Max Swanson, senior, infield/outfield; Jordan Anderson, junior, catcher, first base; Alan Bos, junior, first base, Jason Donald, junior, pitcher/infield; Ryan Mockler, junior, outfield; Kyle Mollet, junior, shortstop/pitcher; Ben Oberle, junior, second base/pitcher; Brad Schaack, junior, pitcher/third base; Brandon Hanson, sophomore, catcher; John Gregg, sophomore, outfield; Sam Lamprath, sophomore, pitcher/catcher/ third base; Zach Weiss, freshman, catcher/outfield; Jeff Gilbertson, freshman, infield; Eric McPherson, freshman, catcher; Matt Stange, freshman, infield; Tyler Thedorff, freshman, infield; Paul Hammond, freshman, outfield; Jeff Donnelly, freshman, infield; Bobby Dykstra, freshman, outfield.

"The Tanagers return six starters from last year. This year's team is young � with only four seniors," said coach Gault. "However, a lack of experience will not be a problem due to the fact that 13 players are returning varsity members."

Vermillion will be relying heavily on four year starter BJ Campbell, Jared Burcham, Kyle Mollet and Ryan Mockler, the coach said, to get the job done at the plate.

"Defensively, the team will be very solid led by Collin Prosser, Ben Oberle and Mollet," Gault said. "On the mound, the Tanagers will have a brand new rotation will all three starters leaving last year."

Jason Donald, newcomer Sam Lamprath, Brad Schaack, Ben Oberle and Kyle Mollet will all have opportunities to throw during the spring.

"Behind the plate, a committee of players will be vying for the starting spot � Jordan Anderson, Brandon Hanson, Zach Weiss and Eric McPherson," Gault said.

This year's team is also expected to run very well.

The Tanagers' goal for the spring high school season is to compete with its region rivals and hope for a great showing at the region tournament," Gault said.

There are 18 games on the schedule, nine at home in Prentis Park (mostly JV/V dh) and some against Class A teams.

The Tanagers will host Alcester at 5:30 p.m. on April 2, and Lennox at 6:30 p.m. on April 7, followed by another home game against West Central at 1 p.m. on April 17.

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