Tanagers continue scoring double figures By Parker Knox
Sportswriter Vermillion's high school baseball team continued to merrily roll along Monday, scoring in double figures for the fourth time and winning for the fifth time in six games. The Tanagers posted a 13-2 triumph over Bon Homme at Prentis Park in five innings after laying a major hurt on their old nemesis, Parkston, 16-6, in six innings Saturday. After hosting Beresford Wednesday, Vermillion now becomes a team of road warriors for six consecutive contests, starting with a doubleheader at Mount Vernon Sunday and continuing at Dakota Valley at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Sunday's games against the Stickney-Mount Vernon-Hanson-Ethan cooperative start with a JV game at 2 p.m. and the varsity twinbill scheduled for 4 and 6. VHS 13, Bon Homme 2 The Tanagers were given a lot of help, both by the Bon Homme pitching (eight walks, four hit batsmen, two wild pitches) and by their defense (five errors), but managed enough timely hits to make the Cavaliers pay dearly for their inefficiency. Leadoff man Sam McBride, who reached base all four times he batted and scored three times, tripled to start the first inning and was wild-pitched home, setting the tone for the afternoon. In the second the Tanagers managed four runs without a hit, but McBride's sharply hit ball between the first baseman's legs did just as much damage, letting in two of the runs. Vermillion made it a 12-0 game with a seven-run third. Grant Lueders started the explosion with a single. McBride, Jason Rasmussen and JR Moore had run-scoring hits, and Kyle Nemec's strong single drove in a pair. Wild pitches with the bases loaded allowed two more runs to cross the plate. Vermillion starter Moore breezed through the Bon Homme lineup, striking out three and walking only one. Only in the fourth did the Cavaliers score on a two-run single by Micah Bartlett. Just for good measure, McBride led off the fourth with a walk, went to third on an infield throwing error and scored on an infield grounder by Andrew Eidem. The game ended after 4 1/2 due to the 10-run mercy rule. VHS 16, Parkston 6 A high and bright sky made fielding popups and fly balls an adventure for both teams Saturday, but the Tanagers had brought along their hitting clothes. Vermillion packed its 11 hits into three monster innings to outdistance Parkston. A four-run first for the Tanagers included an RBI single by Andrew Eidem, a catcher's throwing error that allowed another run to score, and a two-run infield error. The 4-1 lead grew to 8-1 with another four-run outburst in the third. Starting hurler Tyler Johnson started a five-hit inning with a double. Before the damage was done, the Tanagers had received one-run hits from Brian Hansen and Kyle Nemec and a two-run single from Jason Rasmussen. Parkston got to Johnson only once with a five-run, four-hit fifth during which a Tanager infield error allowed two runs to score. But Johnson's fourth strikeout of the game ended the threat with the Trojans down by only 8-6. Vermillion answered that challenge with a seven-run, three-hit, two-error, four-walk bottom of the fifth. The big blows of that stanza were a two-run single by Sam McBride and a mighty two-run double by Hansen over the centerfielder's head. Grant Lueders was brought in as a reliever two batters into the top of the sixth. Catcher Eidem threw out a potential basestealer, and Lueders struck out two batters to end the Parkston inning. Needing one run to end the game via the 10-run rule, the Tanagers got it quickly when Cory Taggart walked, advanced to second on Johnson's iinfield grounder and scored on two wild pitches. Hansen finished the day with three hits and three RBIs while McBride, Rasmussen and Eidem had two hits and two RBIs apiece. JV Games The Tanager junior varsity won twice over the Easter weekend, clubbing Parkston 9-2 and rallying for an exciting 4-3 win over Bon Homme. Tyler Husby and Will Mart had two hits each while Caleb Miller and Mitch Ellison drove in a pair of runs apiece to lead the VHS offense against Parkston. Bobby Osterberg struck out five and allowed only three hits in his five innings of mound duty. The Tanagers trailed Bon Homme 2-1 when they came up in the bottom of the fourth. Mart's leadoff single, Scott Iverson's double to the fence and Miller's single tied the game. In the top of the fifth and final inning, Bon Homme threatened when the first two batters reached safely, but the Tanagers caught the lead runner in a rundown, then reliever Nate Garrett struck out the next batter and ended the inning on a popup to the infield. Exhilarated by that turn of events, the Tanagers immediately won the game when Stormy Mirtz led off with a double, Husby's bunt went for a basehit, and Cody Sommervold won the game when his sharply hit ground ball to the third baseman couldn't be fielded in time to prevent the winning run from scoring. The JVs improved their record to 3-4 with the pair of weekend victories.