15-16 Teeners notch
two wins in Region tourney By Parker Knox
Sportswriter The youth baseball season in Vermillion isn't over quite yet. The 15-16 Teeners won their first two games of the Region 1A Tournament at Prentis Park Monday and Tuesday, assuring themselves, at the very worst, of still playing tonight (Friday) if in fact they aren't already in Saturday's championship game. Vermillion dealt Parkston and Dakota Valley 10-run defeats by the same 15-5 score to advance to a Thursday night clash with Tyndall in a battle of the two teams that at that point were unbeaten in the tournament. Whoever won clinched a spot in Saturday's championship game at 1 p.m. against the winner of Friday night's 7 p.m. game between last night's loser and the survivor coming back out of the losers' bracket. If a second championship game is necessary, it will follow at 3 p.m. Saturday. The champion goes on to the state 15-16 tournament at Garretson starting next Friday. Game 2: Dakota Valley Vermillion's batters hammered out 11 hits and its pitchers allowed only three as the 15-16 Teeners sent DV home an inning early with a five-run shot in the bottom of the sixth that put the 10-run rule into effect for the second straight night. Dakota Valley did all it could to help the Vermillion cause, contributing so many errors – 10 in all – that everyone learned that the Prentis Park scoreboard can't show double-digit error totals. Vermillion had a 3-0 lead after two innings, and all three runs were gifts. Two scored in the first on a wild throw by the DV shortstop beyond first base. Another came in the second when DV pitcher Aaron Delgado walked Wes McBride, committed back-to-back errors trying to pick him off first and second bases, and watched him score on D'Andre Fore's infield out. Two uncustomary Vermillion errors and two hits allowed DV to tie the gamein the third, but Vermillion answered right back with a pair on Zach McDonald's single, Will Mart's double and a wild pitch. It went from 5-3 to 10-3 in the fourth when a double by Tyler Husby, singles by Jerod Ceretti and Stormy Mirtz, four more DV errors, and two hit batters produced a five spot. Things began to get a bit dicey when DV scored two quickly in the fifth to close to within 10-5 and put two more runners on base against reliever Mitch Brown. But just when a blooper appeared to fall for a basehit, second-baseman Wes McBride retrieved the ball and flipped it back-handed to first base to nab the unsuspecting batter, a play worthy of any major-league highlight reel. Brown quickly recovered to retire the last two batters of that inning and three in a row in the sixth. Needing five runs to end the game in the sixth, Vermillion, despite losing a pair of runners on the basepaths in the inning, accomplished that feat. A walk to Caleb Miller started it all, followed by a double by Mirtz, a single by Nate Garrett, a walk, singles by Fore and Husby and a McDonald triple. With the score 14-5 and McDonald on third base, DV reliever Eliot Bacon committed a balk that scored McDonald and ended the game. Ceretti pitched admirably as the Vermillion starter, giving up two hits, walking one and striking out five in his four innings. Brown struck out two, walked two and allowed one hit in his two innings. Husby had three hits and two RBIs. McDonald and Mirtz also hit safely twice, and McDonald and Ceretti both drove in a pair. Fore, Garrett and Mart also had RBIs. Game 1: Parkston Vermillion capitalized on five walks with a D'Andre Fore single in the midst of them to score six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and end a first-round game against Parkston via the 10-run rule, 15-5. In fact, walks were the story of the game. Vermillion benefited from 10 bases on balls but gave 11 of them to Parkston. Starting pitcher Tyler Husby struck out five of the first seven batters he faced until running into trouble in the third when he walked five straight men, giving Parkston a pair of runs. His replacement, Zach McDonald, kept Parkston quiet until he walked three in a row to start the sixth. Mitch Brown came in to relieve McDonald, and although the visitors got two runs on an infield out and a balk, Brown retired three men in a row to set the stage for Vermillion's game-ending rally. A hit by Will Mart, an error and a Stormy Mirtz sacrifice fly plated three Vermillion runs in the first. McDonald's RBI single and an error gave the home team two more in the second. Producing three more scores in the third were RBI hits by Fore and McDonald and a sacrifice fly off Husby's bat. Caleb Miller led off the fourth with a double and scored on Andy McCann's ground ball out. Parkston had only two hits off the three Vermillion pitchers, both of them during McDonald's tenure on the mound. Only one, a leadoff triple in the fifth, led to a run, which came on a spectacular double play from Fore to Wes McBride to Miller. McBride, covering at second, tagged the bag and then, as he was falling, completed the throw to first from his knees. McDonald and Fore each drove in three runs and each had two hits as did Mart. The victory moved Vermillion into Tuesday's winners' bracket game against Dakota Valley.
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