Vermillion Post 1 falls 1 run short in
Region 3B tourney By Parker Knox
Sports Writer Sixteen runs would be enough to win almost every game a team plays, but in the case of Vermillion Post 1, when it mattered the most, 16 proved to be one run too few. Post 1â�?�?s dream of returning to the state â�?�?Bâ�? Legion tournament died on the Harrisburg diamond Tuesday night when Elk Point-Jefferson outlasted Vermillion, 17-16, in the first Region 3B championship game. Post 1 needed to win that one to force another championship contest a half-hour later, but it wasnâ�?�?t to be. In a game in which there were numerous opportunities to call it quits, Post 1 displayed its season-long resilient spirit yet again.�? Vermillion was down 3-0 after the first three EP-J batters of the game. They spent the first half of the game trying to catch up, and they finally did make it 6-6 with a four-run fifth inning. Post 1 gave the lead right back when EP-J scored twice in the sixth. Vermillion tied it again at 8-8 with two in the sixth, but EP-J regained the lead at 9-8 in the bottom of that frame. The seventh inning was the strangest of all in this particular game because neither team scored. In the case of EP-J, it was the only time Vermillion could keep them off the board all night long. Finally came the gameâ�?�?s final two marathon stanzas.�? �? In those two innings alone, 36 men came to the plate, and the two teams combined for�? 16 runs, 14 basehits and another 10 men left stranded. A four-run eighth put Vermillionâ�?�?s never-say-die kids ahead for the first time in the game at 12-9.�? But no lead was safe on this night, and EP-J scored five to lead 14-12 heading to the ninth.�? With their season on the brink, the Post 1 athletes found a way to score four and take a 16-14 lead and a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth. But the winners scored three to pull it out and end Vermillionâ�?�?s season with a disappointing loss, the second one-run loss to EP-J in this tournament. Kyle Olsenâ�?�?s solo homer put Post 1 on the board in the second. Sam McBrideâ�?�?s two-run single was the big hit in the four-run fifth that lifted Vermillion into its first tie. Post 1 had help in its four-run eighth. Andrew Eidem hit into a force play which scored one run, an infield error let two more cross the plate, and Jason Rasmussen, who earlier had four hits, walked with the bases loaded. Vermillionâ�?�?s four-run ninth started with two walks. Post 1 was down to its final out when an infield error loaded the bases and set the stage for McBrideâ�?�?s bases-clearing triple, giving him five runs batted in. Cory Taggart followed with a single that scored McBride for a two-run lead. A clean single followed by a weird-hop single set EP-Jâ�?�?s game-ending rally into motion in the bottom of the ninth. A force play put men at the corners for Michael Strasburg, whose single cut Post 1â�?�?s lead to one.�? An intentional walk was ordered to give Post 1 a chance at a game-ending, victory-securing double play.�? But the next batter walked unintentionally to tie the game. Josh Gross then laced a screaming liner past second base to end the game and the Vermillion season. The Panthers had more than one hit in eight of their nine at-bats, ending the night with 24 hits in all, and they stranded 16 runners on base.�? Vermillion, meanwhile, had 20 hits of its own and left 13 men on base.�? It was that kind of night. Rasmussen and McBride had four hits each, and Brandon Womack and Kyle Nemec hit safely three times each.�? Taggart had two hits.�? Olsen and Nemec each drove in two tallies. Playing its fourth game in a 53-hour span, Post 1 again needed a pitcher to go deep into the game. That duty befell Womack, who threw 8 2/3 innings. Tyler Johnson finished it up. For EP-J it was a pitch-by-committee situation, using four men to try to stem the constantly-rallying Vermillion club. Vermillionâ�?�?s season ends with a 20-16 record.