Vermillion's high school baseball team will face a busy weekend as the final hectic week of the fast-disappearing regular season begins.
The Tanagers will go to Tabor to play the Bon Homme/Scotland/Menno team at 7 p.m., preceded by the JV contest at 5 p.m. The very next afternoon the VHS team will go even farther west and north to Corsica to play the Corsica/Stickney/Armour ballclub at 4 p.m., preceded by the junior varsity game at 2 p.m. Both weekend contests for the varsity are against regional opponents and count toward regional seeding for tournament time.
Last week the Tanagers saw their overall season record drop to the .500 level at 4-4 when they were smoked at Beresford, 17-6. Fortunately the game was a non-league affair, but the Watchdogs left no doubt they are the favorite on the eastern side of Region 1B.
Starting pitcher Nick Anglin gave up five runs in the first inning, but VHS immediately scored four of its own in the top of the second. Anglin settled down and pitched the second and third innings before giving way to Sam Ekstrom in relief in the fourth. Meanwhile, the Tanagers couldn't punch across runs despite having opportunities to do so.
Coach Jason Gault said Ekstrom "threw pretty well but Beresford crushed the ball."
The next night the Tanagers returned to a winning record with a 9-4 win at Dakota Valley in another non-league affair. It was Vermillion's third win of the season so far over the Panthers.
Starter Denny Kainrath gave up three runs and gave way to Brian Hansen, who picked up the pitching win as a reliever.
Offensively Jason Rasmussen had a double among his two hits and drove in two runs. Anglin also had two hits and two RBIs, and Ekstrom likewise punched out a pair of hits.
Vermillion was to play at Beresford, this time in a game that counts in the seeding process, on Wednesday of this week. The Tanagers and the Watchdogs will clash yet again next Wednesday at Prentis Park with the varsity leading it off at 5 p.m., followed by the JVs at 7 p.m. On Friday and Saturday of next week, the Tanagers have home dates with Wagner and Bon Homme, respectively, to end the regular season.