With tournament time and the chance to defend their state "B" American Legion title fast approaching, the Post 1 baseball warriors warmed up along with the weather and regained a bit of their swagger in Winner last weekend.
Vermillion stormed through the Winner tournament, winning all four of its games and outscoring their opponents 49-6. Three of the victories came on shutouts.
After scheduled games this past week against Canton and Tabor, Post 1 will have a rare home date tonight (Friday) against Dakota Valley at 6 p.m. On the Monday holiday Post 1 will play a 5th-of-July doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Lennox.
The regional tournament at Elk Point will begin next Friday, July 9. The luck of the draw for the second straight year has Vermillion playing the "play-in" game at 1 p.m. Friday against Dakota Valley. If Post 1 wins, it would play again immediately against Elk Point, otherwise would move into the losers' bracket. The regional champ goes to the state "B" tournament at Lennox starting July 21.
Vermillion 16, Mobridge 0
Cory Taggart started on the mound for Post 1 in the tourney opener and threw three innings, allowing only two hits and no walks and striking out three. By the time three innings had ended, Post 1 had clinched the game via the 15-run rule.
Post 1 scored three times in the first. D'Andre Fore led off the game with a single and scored on a Kyle Nemec RBI single. Grant Lueders immediately found his promotion up to the No. 5 spot in the hitting lineup to be comfortable and tripled Nemec home. Brad Hansen's double scored Lueders.
In the second Post 1 scored 10 times off seven hits, including a Nemec triple and two-out doubles by Zach McDonald and Scott Iverson.
Vermillion ended the game with three runs in the third.
Iverson and Hansen had 3-for-3 games, Fore was 3-for-4 and Nemec was 2-for-2.
Vermillion 8, Winner 6
From a fan's perspective the match of Post 1 against the host team was the tourney's most entertaining.
Taggart again started the game because his first-game pitch count was only at 24. He was an ace on the hill yet again after Winner scored three unearned runs in the first inning. Taggart ended up going five innings, and Nemec relieved to get the save. They combined for seven strikeouts and four walks.
Vermillion answered Winner's three-run first with four runs of its own. Fore and Jason Rasmussen had RBI singles in that uprising.
Winner tied the game at 4-4 in the third, but Post 1 answered again when Iverson scored on a Rasmussen double and Taggart plated Rasmussen with a single.
Winner again knotted the score at 6-6, but Post 1 went ahead when Iverson's single scored McDonald. An insurance run in the sixth when McDonald's two-out hit scored Fore made it 8-6, and Nemec retired Winner in order the rest of the way.
Vermillion 15, Platte 0
Post 1 bats came alive in a rematch of these clubs from last year's state tournament. At the same time Nick Anglin was hurling a four-inning no-hitter on the mound. He walked only one and fanned two.
Vermillion scored two in the first, four in the second and nine in the fourth to end the game via the 15-run rule.
Rasmussen went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Taggart was 1-for-1 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Nemec had a 2-for-3 game, drove in four and scored twice. Lueders was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. McDonald also scored once and drove in one counter in a 1-for-2 game.
Vermillion 10, Winner 0
Post 1 and the host team met again for the tourney title, and this time Hansen stepped up with five innings of shutout baseball, walking two and permitting only four hits.
Vermillion scored three in the first, two in the second, three in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Rasmussen had two doubles in three trips and scored three times. Taggart was 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs. Nemec was 2-for-3 and plated two runs. Hansen was 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Anglin went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Stormy Mirtz had a huge two-out double in the fourth to score a run.
Post 1 Notes
Young catcher Scott Iverson, who has had to step into the huge shoes left by Andrew Eidem from the state championship team, caught all four tourney games and had a good tournament on both offense and defense … Cory Taggart was under the weather physically all weekend but refused to take himself out of the games … Fore in center field and Rasmussen at shortstop made typically amazing defensive plays … Anglin was what Coach Jason Gault called "Mr. Strikes" again, both in consistency and attitude … McDonald, who just recently returned to action after a recuperating from a season-ending injury last summer, has hit his way into a starting spot on the club and continued his extra-base hit streak in big moments at Winner.