Vermillion's 15-16 VFW Teeners, fresh off a 3-1 performance and third-place honors in a tournament at Mitchell, go next to South Sioux City this weekend for a tournament against out-of-state opponents.
The team coached by Bill Settles and Reid Meierkort will face Sioux City East, Pierce, and Wisner/Pilger in pool play starting Saturday. The tournament continues into Sunday.
Settles said his pitching and defense were great at Mitchell. "We allowed only nine runs in four games, only three of which were aided by our fielding and throwing errors," Settles said. "This tourney used the VFW pitching regulations that will be in effect for regional and state tournaments, but we still had plenty of pitching available by the end."
On offense Vermillion batters struck out eight times in 131 plate appearances and put their bunting expertise to good use.
Vermillion blitzed Lennox 10-2 in the Saturday opener, blowing the game open with an eight-run fifth. Everyone scored in that inning except Collin Bertram, who was stranded after a bases-loaded triple. Joe Mazour went 2-for-4, including a double, and had three RBIs. Besides Bertram, Nate Garrett, Chayse Meierkort and Caleb Miller each hit safely once.
On the mound Bertram allowed one hit and no runs in four innings, fanning two, while Garrett threw three innings, striking out two, walking one, and giving up two runs and two hits.
Vermillion defeated Chamberlain, 4-3. Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Bertram singled and reached third on passed balls. An error on Tanner Settles' ball scored Bertram. Meierkort forced Settles but scored on Tanner Anderson's hit for the lead.
Anderson allowed two runs, one hit, five walks and one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings, Mazour one run, two hits and one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings, and Meierkort no runs, no hits and five strikeouts in two innings. The only man he faced that Meierkort didn't strike out was retired on an infield grounder.
The host Mitchell team, the eventual tourney champs who had scored 15 runs against Lennox and 19 against Chamberlain, was held to a 3-1 victory margin over Vermillion. Bertram went 2-for-4 and Settles 1-for-3, driving in a run with a bases-loaded walk, but the team left stranded six different runners who had been in scoring position with one out.
Settles pitched three innings, allowing three runs, five hits, three walks and two strikeouts, and Mazour threw three innings, giving up two hits.
Finally in a game between the No. 2 seeds from each pool, Vermillion dominated Huron, 11-1, in a game which ended via the 10-run rule with one out in the sixth. Vermillion scored two runs in each inning except for one tally in the second.
Meierkort went 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored and a double. Miller was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scored twice. Garrett scored twice and went 2-for-4. Anderson, Bertram, Mazour and Settles each had one hit.
The mound duties were shared by Bertram (three innings, no runs, two hits, three strikeouts), Meierkort (one inning, one run, no hits, two walks, three K's) and Garrett (two innings, no hits, no runs).
In a home game last week Vermillion sent Tyndall home after five innings in a 10-0 win. Mitch Brown threw a five-innning no-hitter. He walked five, three of them in the first inning, while striking out seven. Six other batters were retired by infielders, and two balls reached the outfield.
Vermillion scored five runs in the first to take control and five more in the fourth to gain the 10-run advantage. Anderson drove in three runs, Brown two, Meierkort and Miller one each. The eight Vermillion hits were divided among eight men – Settles, Meierkort, Brown, Anderson, Cody Sommervold, Garrett, Miller and Mazour.
The JV game found Garrett keeping Tyndall under control on the mound. Vermillion gained a 4-2 lead after 3 1/2 innings. In the bottom of the fourth Mitch Ellison's hit off the first-baseman's glove scored Bertram for a 5-2 lead. At that point approaching lightning forced cancellation of the game at that point.