Grey Sox fall to K-C Cannons 7-6

Grey Sox fall to K-C Cannons 7-6 by Steven Thum The Vermillion Grey Sox lost a heartbreaker to the Kennebec-Chamberlain Cannons in the first round of the State "B" Amateur Baseball Tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Birdcage in Sioux Falls by a score of 7-6 in 10 innings.

The game started off great for the Grey Sox as they took advantage of two Cannon errors to score a run in the top of the first. After an Aaron Baedke single, brother Ryan Baedke and Jason Dietrich reached base on back-to-back errors, the second of which plated Aaron Baedke.

Ryan Baedke, the Grey Sox starting pitcher, made the lead stand for the early part of the game, though the Grey Sox got a scare early on. A high fly into short left field in the first inning was snared by shortstop Nick Mayer, but he collided with leftfielder Brett Bartling, who was playing with a number of nagging injuries to begin with. Luckily, both players stayed in the game

Baedke got into a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the third, but got Brock Sundall to hit a weak pop-up which was grabbed by Baedke himself to end the threat.

The Grey Sox put another run on the board in the top of the fourth. With one out, Mayer and Nick Sharp hit back-to-back singles, with Mayer advancing to third on Sharp's single. Dan Holoch walked to load the bases. Jeff Gilbertson hit a fly into right field which brought home Mayer on the sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

But the Cannons' starting pitcher, Jim Klages, managed to get out of the inning without further damage.

Ryan Baedke and the Grey Sox cruised through the first five innings, but it all fell apart in the bottom of the sixth.

Scott Warrington lead off the frame for the Cannons, and was hit by a Baedke pitch. Todd Priebe hit a grounder to firstbaseman Sharp, who fumbled the ball and all were safe. A single by Bryan Rinehart loaded the bases with no one out.

Ryan Baedke fanned Cole Knippling for the first out, but back-to-back 2-RBI singles by Sundall and Klages made it 4-2.

But two more errors and a sacrifice fly brought home two more runs for the Cannons. When the smoke cleared, the Cannons posted six runs on just three hits, helped by three Grey Sox errors and a hit batsman.

Klages got the first two batters out in the top of the seventh, but issued a walk to Drew Lawrence to set the stage for Aaron Baedke, who blasted a two-run homer to make it 6-4. The Grey Sox were back in the game as Klages got pulled in favor of reliever Paul Speer.

But the righty fireman struggled early, walking Ryan Baedke and Dietrich. Nick Mayer's single plated Ryan Baedke to make it 6-5. Speer got Sharp to ground out to end the threat, but the momentum, clearly on the side of the Cannons at the start of the inning, was now back on the side of the Grey Sox.

After the bad sixth inning, the Grey Sox settled down and held the Cannons scoreless in the seventh.

The Grey Sox rallied in the top of the eighth as Holoch led off with a walk, then James Christensen, a pickup player from Beresford, came in as the courtesy runner for the Grey Sox catcher. Jeff Gilbertson laid down a perfect bunt and was safe at first on the infield single.

Bartling bunted both runners into scoring position, and Lawrence reached base after being hit by Speer's last pitch of the game. Nathan Zacher came on in relief for the Cannons.

He was rudely greeted by Aaron Baedke, who singled home the tying run. But Zacher recovered to fan Ryan Baedke and get Dietrich to fly out to keep the score tied at six.

Ryan Baedke retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth and it was on to extra innings as the Grey Sox could not score in the top of the ninth.

The Grey Sox got one runner on base in the top of the 10th, as Bartling drew a one-out walk, but Zacher shut down the rally.

Ryan Baedke got the first two batters out in the bottom of the tenth, and it looked like the game would continue. But Zacher hit a double with two outs on a smash to leftfield. Monte Lieferman followed with a clean single up the middle to bring home the winning run for the Cannons.

Ryan Baedke went the distance for the Grey Sox, allowing seven runs, just four of them earned, on six hits. He fanned eight and walked four.

Nathan Zacher got the win by pitching 2 and 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.

Aaron Baedke led the way for the Grey Sox offense, hitting two singles, a homer, and driving in three runs. Nick Mayer singled twice and drove in a run.

Jim Klages singled twice and drove in two for the Cannons.

The Grey Sox left 10 men on base, while the Cannons stranded eight.

The Cannons improve to 23-2 with the win. The Grey Sox end their season with a 14-11 mark.

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