When a team scores 11 runs from the fifth through the eighth innings of a game, chances are things are going well and the team is in good position to post a victory.
But such was not the case in a District 7B amateur tournament elimination game at Prentis Park on July 28 when the Vermillion Grey Sox did precisely that against Elk Point but still lost 20-12 and saw their season come to an end.
The Grey Sox, while they were producing runs regularly in the late innings, couldn't stop Elk Point from doing the same. The Stags had two six-run innings and one five-run inning to their credit, and the victory advanced them to the state "B" tournament in Sioux Falls, which began Wednesday and continues through all of next week.
A first-inning run on a bases-loaded walk by Elk Point starter Bo Bruinsma gave the Grey Sox a 1-0 lead, but the Stags matched that in the second. A five-run third that included four hits, two walks and two costly errors on the left side of the Grey Sox infield gave Elk Point a 6-1 lead.
The Vermillion team clawed back to within 6-4 in the top of the fifth. Jason Rasmussen started the inning with a single. After that the Grey Sox had help from Elk Point via two walks and two infield errors. One of the miscues came on a blistering hot liner off Grant Lueders' bat that was misplayed into a two-run error.
But Elk Point came right back with a six-run fifth that included a two-run home run by Cole Knippling and four other timely hits, so their lead mounted to 12-4.
Hits by Reid Meierkort and Mike Moran produced a Grey Sox run in the top of the sixth. They added three more runs in the seventh to rally to within 12-8. Three leadoff walks, a catcher's throwing error, an RBI hit by Tyler Johnson, and a sacrifice fly off Rasmussen's bat did the trick for the Grey Sox.
But Elk Point couldn't be stopped. The Stags scored two in the seventh to go up by 14-8 and put the game out of sight with a six-run eighth. Josh Gross of Elk Point had a two-run home run in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Of the 10 Grey Sox hits, Meierkort had three while Cory Taggart, Moran and Rasmussen had two apiece, and Rasmussen had three RBIs for the night. Gross ended up with six RBIs on three hits while Brooks Little and Dustin Little also hit safely three times each for the winners. Elk Point had 17 hits in all.
Nick Anglin started on the mound for the Grey Sox, relieved by Kyle Nemec in the third and Johnson in the fifth.