The Vermillion Red Sox are heading back to the State "A" Amateur Baseball Tournament after beating the Yankton Tappers for the second time in four days.
On Friday night at Prentis Park the Red Sox got a gem of a pitching performance from Kenny Longman to get past Yankton 2-1.
The Tappers had some chances to score early against Longman, but failed to get key hits with runners on first and second in both the first and third innings.
The Red Sox had few opportunities in the early going of the game against Yankton starter Nick Huston. In the scond inning Huston retired the first two batters before Drew Benton reached on an error. Justin Beebe walked to bring up Ken Longman (Kenny's son) who laced a sharp single to right field. Yankton outfielder Zach Lambrechts came up throwing and gunned down Benton at the plate to end the threat.
After four scoreless innings, the Red Sox (the visiting team in this game, due to Yankton being the higher seed) got on the board in the top of the fifth as a two-out rally started with the number nine hitter, Aaron Fischer, who smacked a single and was followed by Robin Chute's RBI double to make it 1-0.
Kenny Longman continued to baffle Yankton hitters, but the Tappers finally notched a run against the veteran righty as Derek Nelson laced a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, plating Mike Janish, who reached on a fielder's choice. With two out and two on, Longman got the number three hitter for Yankton, Zambrechts, to hit a pop foul which was caught by Red Sox first baseman Dan Hanson to keep the score 1-1.
Both teams got runners on base in the eighth but failed to score.
In the top of the ninth a rally started for Vermillion with one out. Justin Beebe hit a single, which was followed by a single by Ken Longman. An error on the play by Yankton first baseman Jake Broscha allowed Beebe to score the go-ahead run. Huston was replaced on the hill by Rand Thygeson who retired the next two batters in order to end the Red Sox rally, but the damage was done.
It was now up to Kenny Longman to hold that lead in the bottom of the ninth, and he did so in style. Longman fanned the first two Yankton hitters, then induced Kyle Smith to ground out to short to end the game, and secure Vermillion's spot in the state tournament.
Kenny Longman gave up six hits, walking two and striking out six in his complete game victory. Nick Huston went 8 1/3 innings for Yankton, surrendering eight hits while walking two and fanning three.
Ken Longman, the Red Sox DH, laced two singles, the latter of which led to the game-winning run scoring on the Yankton error. Robin Chute singled and doubled, while Cody Aughton singled twice for Vermillion.
Derek Nelson singled twice for Yankton and drove in their only run. Kyle Smith doubled and singled on the night for the Tappers.
The Red Sox stranded eight baserunners, while Yankton left nine men on base. The Tappers committed four errors on the night, and they turned two doubleplays as well.
Yankton would go on to defeat the Sioux Falls Saints 4-1 on Sunday to qualify for the state tournament.
The first round of the Class "A" Tournament will be played in Yankton. The Red Sox will face the Rapid City A's on Friday night at 8 p.m.
Red Sox 2-8-0
Yankton Tappers 1-6-4
Kenny Longman and Tyler Candor
Nick Huston, Rand Thygeson (9), and Zach Johnson
Umpires – Rob Carl and Mark Zalme