The last of Vermillion's baseball teams to begin postseason play, the 15-16 VFW Teeners, begin competition in the Region 1 tournament in North Sioux City next week.
The team coached by Bill Settles and Reid Meierkort drew a first-round bye so won't have to play on Monday when Canton takes on Dakota Valley in a first-round contest and Elk Point-Jefferson plays Beresford in a second-round matchup.
Vermillion's first game will be in the second round at 6 p.m. Tuesday against the Canton-Dakota Valley winner. After that, Vermillion with a win would play at 6 p.m. Wednesday or with a loss would play an elimination game at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The tournament is slated to end next Friday with one or two championship games.
Last week in their last home game of the regular season, Vermillion's 15-16 Teeners were within one strike of a 4-3 victory over Lennox, but the visitors' Jake Reischl drove a sharp single into left field to tie the game. Shortly thereafter a wild pitch scored the lead run, and Vermillion was then retired in order in its last at-bat to suffer a 5-4 loss.
Those two seventh-inning runs were the first for Lennox since a three-run first when they took advantage of five consecutive walks by starter Mitch Brown to go up 3-0.
Vermillion took the lead with a four-run third, helped along by shoddy play by the Lennox defense. Three errors, two in center field and one by the pitcher, combined with an RBI single by Collin Bertram, a bunt for a base hit by Brown, and a two-run single by Chayse Meierkort for a 4-3 Vermillion lead which held up until the fateful top of the seventh.
Bertram had relieved Brown after his five walks in the first and kept Lennox scoreless through the fifth. Meierkort then relieved and struck out the side in the sixth. He struck out two more in the seventh but also walked three which helped Lennox to its game-winning rally.
Brown had two of Vermillion's six hits. Lennox had only four hits off the three Vermillion hurlers.
In the "B" game Vermillion scored six runs on three hits, three Lennox errors, two walks and two hit batsmen in the first inning. Tanner Settles and Meierkort had RBI singles during the uprising.
Nate Garrett drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third, and Bertram's RBI hit produced another run in the third. The game ended as planned after Lennox was retired in the top of the fourth with Vermillion on top 8-0.
Joe Mazour did the pitching for Vermillion, fanning five, walking none and scattering five Lennox hits.
The Teeners began a string of three straight road games to close the regular season Monday with a 12-9 loss to Sioux Falls Central. Giving up four runs in the bottom of the sixth to increase the Central lead to 12-4 proved costly when Vermillion rallied in its last at-bat with five runs to close to within 12-9. Tanner Anderson, Caleb Miller and Colby Sommervold had key hits in the five-run rally.
Central also won the nightcap of the doubleheader, 9-4.