After a long string of off-days due to persistent rain, Vermillion's VFW 15-16 Teeners finally returned to Prentis Park to take on Canton Friday night, and only one bad inning kept the evening from being a rousing success.
Canton mounted a six-run second inning in the "A" game, starting with two hit batters, two walks, a wild pitch and a single. Collin Bertram came to the mound in relief of starter Chayse Meierkort and allowed a two-run double. He retired the next two batters, but in each case another runner scored on an infield ground-out. Bertram then was untouchable for three innings until Canton picked up a single run on a walk and two singles in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Vermillion tried to chip away at the 6-0 deficit. Caleb Miller's grounder was mishandled by the Canton shortstop to start the bottom of the third, and Miller moved around on Joe Mazour's single, a stolen base, and Cody Sommervold's sacrifice fly.
The Canton lead dwindled to 6-2 in the fourth when Tanner Anderson reached first on a basehit, went to third on a pitcher's throwing error and scored on Nate Garrett's base knock.
Bertram doubled home the singling Mazour in the fifth. Then when Meierkort hustled to first on an infield grounder, the Canton shortstop hurried his throw to first and threw it away, allowing Bertram to score. Vermillion was within two at 6-4.
After Canton went up 7-5, Vermillion got its final run in the sixth when Anderson's perfect bunt was mishandled by the pitcher for a two-base error. Then Anderson scored when the catcher threw the ball into left field in trying to nail Anderson at third.
Canton reliever Nick Versteeg retired Vermillion in order in the bottom of the seventh, preventing any last-inning heroics by the home team.
Mazour had two of Vermillion's five hits, and Mazour, Garrett and Bertram each had an RBI.
The "B" game was really over after the first inning though it was allowed to continue through four innings of play. The first five Vermillion batters walked, and before the inning was over four more would reach on walks and one on an error. Colin Olson came up with the clutch hit of the night, unloading the bases with a three-run double as part of the 11-run first inning.
A single by Mitch Brown, Meierkort's double and an infield grounder off Olson's bat produced two more Vermillion runs in the second. The final score was 13-2.
Anderson pitched three innings, allowing two runs and five hits. Mazour came in in relief in the fourth and mowed down Canton in 1-2-3 fashion to end the game.
Meierkort and Brown had two hits each while Miller, Mitch Ellison and Olson had one apiece.
The 15-16 Teeners are scheduled on the road at Harrisburg next Tuesday and at Elk Point on Friday. Their next home game is July 6 against the Yankton 16s.