Renner Roadrunners send Red Sox home By Parker Knox
Sports Writer It was the Renner Roadrunners who ended the Vermillion Red Sox season in the state amateur tournament last year. Then it was the same Roadrunners who sent the Sox reeling into the losersâ�?�? bracket of the state â�?�?Aâ�? amateur baseball tournament, 11-0,�? two weeks ago in Rapid City. And�? now it is�? the same Roadrunners who have sent the Red Sox home for the winter again. After beating Brookings in Rapid City two weekends back and then whitewashing a Pierre team that had been a solid-hitting club all season, 3-0, in the first game of the second round of the state tourney in Mitchell last Friday, the Red Sox had to face the Roadrunners again the next day. The Renner team stymied the Sox again, this time 6-1, to end the Vermillion teamâ�?�?s season. It was the third win for the Roadrunners over the Red Sox this summer. In Saturdayâ�?�?s game the Red Sox, who went with pickup player Kyle Smith of the Yankton Terrys as their starting pitcher,�? still had a chance as late as the sixth inning, trailing only 3-1.�? The Roadrunners scored three runs in the third, and Vermillion answered with its only run of the contest in the fifth.�? But Renner put the game out of reach, figuratively if not literally, with another three spot in the seventh. Brad Donovan came in in relief of Smith in the seventh and finished the game.�? Together the two Sox hurlers allowed eight hits while the Red Sox themselves managed seven off the Roadrunnersâ�?�? complete-game winner, Dan Morrison. In the Friday win over Pierre, Tyler Tasker frustrated the Rattlers with only�? four hits â�?�? one each in the fourth through seventh innings. He struck out five and, most important of all perhaps, walked only two. Only once did Pierre get two men on base�? in the same inning, and the Rattlers never got a man beyond second base. Another pickup player from Yankton, Rand Thygelson, took the mound for the eighth and ninth. He struck out the first two Rattlers he faced before giving up a walk and a single, but he retired Pierre pitcher Harry Decker on a fly ball to right-fielder Cole Knippling to escape that jam. Thygelson had a two-out�? baserunner behind him in the ninth, but he coaxed an infield ground ball that resulted in a force play at second base to end the game. The Red Sox scored fast off Decker with two runs in the first inning.�? Brett Fischer and Robin Chute led off the game with singles.�? After two were out, Jim McNaughtonâ�?�?s single scored one run, and when the throw came in from center field, it went into the dugout, allowing a second runner to cross the plate. Vermillion added another run in the second when Jon Merrigan walked and later scored on another Chute hit. Decker kept the Red Sox scoreless the rest of the way, thanks in part to four strikeouts and a pair of excellent outfield catches by Mike Fisher and Chris Pope.�? However, while Decker was�? keeping Vermillion within reach, his own teams batters could do nothing�? when it counted, stranding seven men on base in the last five innings. McNaughton and Chute had two each of Vermillionâ�?�?s six hits with Fischer and Knippling accounting for the other two. The Red Sox season under manager Kirk Sorenson concluded with a 21-6 record.�? Besides three losses to the Roadrunners, the only other blemishes on the summerâ�?�?s slate were a loss to state â�?�?Aâ�? champion Renner Monarchs, a loss to state tourney participant Larchwood and a loss to Garretson.