Red Sox seeking spot at state tournament

Postseason tournament time has arrived for Class "A" amateur baseball teams in this area, and the Vermillion Red Sox and two other teams will vie for two spots out of this region in the state amateur tournament.

Exact game times had not been set by the Plain Talk's deadline earlier this week, but the first game in the "A" region will be played either Saturday afternoon at Prentis Park, following a 2 p.m. "B" district game, or Sunday evening, following a 2 p.m. "B" district doubleheader.

The remaining two games in the "A" tournament will be held next Thursday and Friday evenings.

The Red Sox, the Sioux Falls Saints and the Yankton Tappers are the three teams seeking the two available state tourney slots.

The Red Sox painfully proved the old saying that a game is never over until the final out has been recorded.  Leading the Brandon Valley Merchants 2-0 in the top of the ninth at Prentis Park on July 13, the Sox were one strike away from victory when the Merchants' Nate Alfson stroked a two-run single to tie the game.

The Red Sox, with a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, left the bases loaded.  Meanwhile, Brandon Valley scored twice in the top of the 11th inning on an infield error, a triple and a double, and Vermillion went quietly in its half of the 11th to lose 4-2.

The Red Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on Aaron Fischer's single and Dan Hansen's RBI hit.  A solo homer by Robin Chute in the seventh had made it a 2-0 advantage.  It was one of three hits for Chute in the game.

Chuck Benz pitched nine innings for the Red Sox, spreading 11 hits, striking out seven and walking one.  He escaped disaster several times, including twice when Brandon Valley left the bases loaded.  Garret Linhardt threw the final two innings.

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