Vermillion Post 1
to host Lennox
Baseball Opening Day By Parker Knox
Sportswriter Vermillion Post 1 will be seeking its first win of the American Legion baseball season Saturday when the club hosts a perennial rival, Lennox Post 174, in the third game of the Baseball Opening Day celebration at Prentis Park at about 5 p.m. Post 1 sustained a pair of shutout defeats, 11-0 and 3-0, at the hands of Sioux Falls Post 15 East Tuesday in the season openers. That twinbill began a busy stretch of ball which will find Post 1 playing one-third of its entire season's schedule within the first two weeks of the season. Vermillion will be home Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a doubleheader against Elk Point and go to Freeman the following night for a pair. Next weekend comes the Lewis and Clark Classic with games all day Friday and Saturday at Prentis Park as well as in Yankton and Hartington. Post 1 managed only two infield hits — one by Jason Rasmussen and the other by JR Moore — off East ace Cory Kostboth in Tuesday's opener, which lasted only five innings because of the 10-run rule. Vermillion had two other baserunners, both on walks, but only one man reached second base. Kostboth struck out three, including the final two Post 1 batters. East clubbed 16 hits — four doubles and 12 singles — and had baserunners in all five of its at-bats. The Sioux Falls team led only 2-0 off starter Tyler Johnson until the fateful third when they parlayed seven singles, a double and a walk into eight runs that put the game out of reach. The defensive play of the game, though the score was 10-0 at the time, came from left-fielder Moore. He made a sliding catch of a dying fly ball with one out in the fourth, then came up firing to second base to double off an East runner to end the inning. Earlier in the game when it still mattered, Rasmussen at shortstop stymied a potential big inning for East when, in one continuous movement, he niftily scooped up a ground ball, crossed second base to force a runner and fired to first for a double play. Jared Miller and Jordan Merritt drove in three runs apiece as part of the East onslaught. Johnson was relieved late in the eight-run third by Grant Lueders, who gave up only one run in 2 2/3 innings. The nightcap was much more competitive, but still Post 1 was, for the most part, contained by Kostboth, who threw a six-hitter, striking out three and walking one. A lefthander, he possesses a deceptive pickoff move to first base, and he helped his own cause by nailing a pair of Vermillion baserunners there. A walk and a double produced an East run in the first inning off starter Nick Anglin, and the Sioux Falls team got another run on a pair of infield errors with a wild pitch in between in the third. Down 2-0, Post 1 had its one chance against Kostboth in the bottom of the third when, after two were out, a dropped ball at first base on an infield grounder and a pair of singles loaded the bases. But Kostboth coaxed an infield fly to end the threat. East scored its third run off reliever Cory Taggart in the fifth on a single, a stolen base, a ground-out and a wild pitch. Vermillion stranded a runner in each of the last three innings and finished the night still searching for that elusive first run of the season. Among Post 1's six hits, Kyle Nemec and Moore each had a double while Sam McBride, Rasmussen, Denny Kainrath and Mike Szymonski each stroked a single. East also had only six basehits, three each off Anglin and Moore. The Post 1 infield contributed mightily in keeping East within reach with a pair of sharp double plays, both Rasmussen to McBride to Nemec. On East's last batter of the seventh inning, Rasmussen put an exclamation point on his fine defensive night with a sparkling play on a difficult ground ball on which he retired the batter at first. Cole Halgerson had two of East's six hits.
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