Tanager bats Monday wipe away frustrations felt by team Sunday

Eager to wipe away the frustrations of an ineffective offense in a doubleheader loss Sunday, the Tanagers came out hitting and running Monday night.

By the time the fourth inning was over, Vermillion had recorded nine hits, six stolen bases and 10 runs on the way to a satisfying 13-5 win over Dakota Valley.  

On Sunday the visitors from Mount Vernon/Hanson/Ethan/Woonsocket used superb pitching to quiet Vermillion bats in an 8-0 and 5-1 sweep of two varsity games.

The Tanager varsity returns to Prentis Park for a 5 p.m. game against Lake Andes, preceded by a JV contest at 3:00.  The junior varsity goes to Dakota Valley for a doubleheader at noon Saturday, and both the JV and the varsity go to Dakota Valley yet again next Thursday for a 5 p.m. varsity tilt with a JV encounter to follow.

Jason Rasmussen and Denny Kainrath each had three hits, reached base four times, scored three times and drove in two runs in Monday's win over Dakota Valley.

The only problem was the Tanager defense which committed five infield errors.  Miscues figured in four of the five Panther runs.

Brian Hansen started on the mound for VHS, allowing only two hits and striking out three through four innings.  In the fifth a pair of hits, an error and two walks got him into a jam.  Jason Rasmussen moved in from shortstop in relief and retired the first man he faced to end the threat.  The Panthers got only one run off Rasmussen the rest of the way, and that run was moved along by an error.

The Tanagers pounded – and "pounded" is the correct word – 12 hits, and there wasn't a cheap one among the dozen.  A Rasmussen single and a Chayse Meierkort grounder drove in two first-inning runs.  A D'Andre Fore ground ball, another Rasmussen hit and an error let in three more in the second.

Sam Ekstrom's double drove in a third-inning tally. VHS scored four in the fourth on a Tyler Husby double, singles by Hansen and Kainrath and an error.
A leadoff error in the sixth was cashed in on a Stormy Mirtz double, and he scored on a subsequent double by Kainrath.

Nine different Tanager batters had at least one RBI, a stark contrast to Sunday's twinbill when Vermillion batters couldn't buy hits or even groundballs for outs.

"They threw a kid who pretty much had our number all game," Coach Jason Gault said of the MVHEW team whose winning pitcher had 13 strikeouts in Sunday's opener.  "We struggled to move runners around, and we had some untimely defensive errors that cost us runs."

Ekstrom had a double, and Rasmussen and Hansen had hits, but that was just about it.  On the defensive side of things Husby was Gault's starter.  He threw well and allowed only one earned run among the five that scored while he was on the mound.  Nick Anglin relieved and struggled to find the zone.  Gault pitched "by committee" the rest of the way, using Rasmussen and Kainrath to get through the game.

"Our inexperience and youth were magnified by Mount Vernon pitching," Gault said.

In the nightcap Gault seized the chance to let all of his non-starters into the game, even though MVHEW used its same nine starters from the opener.  Ekstrom put forth a good effort in pitching, but his offense just couldn't make contact when it needed to.

Sunday's JV game went to MVHEW, 4-3.  Tanner Anderson was the VHS starter.  Nile Morecraft in relief was effective around the plate and allowed no runs.

Seventeen different players got to the plate for Vermillion in Monday's JV game won by the Tanagers 14-2 over Dakota Valley.  Tanner Anderson had two of the Tanagers' nine hits.  Nate Garrett and Kyle Weiss each drove in two runs while Tanner Settles, Will Mart, Collin Bertram and Cody Sommervold each had one RBI.

Bertram pitched all four innings of the game, and eight of the 12 DV outs came on Bertram strikeouts.  He allowed only two harmless hits.  Both of the runs against him were unearned because of an infield throwing error.

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