In a game of highs and lows for both teams, Beresford prevailed, 8-6, in a 10-inning thriller over Vermillion Post 1 Tuesday night as the first full week of American Legion baseball came to an end.
Post 1 went 1-2 in its first three contests, beating Elk Point and losing to Lennox in contests prior to the Beresford game.
Beresford 8, Post 1 – 6
Post 1 rallied from a 5-1 deficit to take a 6-5 lead after seven innings, then squandered three golden opportunities to score in the next three innings without doing so. Meanwhile, Beresford tied the game in the top of the ninth and scored two unearned runs in the top of the 10th to escape with a win.
Vermillion could muster only one basehit through four innings but still scored a run on a pair of Beresford infield errors in the second. Beresford went back ahead, 2-1, on a long home run by Matt Hoines in the third and scored twice more on an RBI single by Bob Jensen and a wild pitch in the fourth. Post 1 gift-wrapped another unearned run for the visitors in the fifth when a single was followed by a stolen base, a catcher's throwing error and a wild pickoff attempt at first.
Post 1 got one back in the fifth when the home team finally put together a pair of hits off starter Jackson Anderson. A single by D'Andre Fore, a double by Jason Rasmussen and a sacrifice fly by Chayse Meierkort brought Vermillion to within 5-2.
Fore's diving catch of a dying fly ball in center field to lead off the Beresford seventh was one of a trio of spectacular defensive plays that kept Post 1 in the game. In the bottom of that inning Vermillion teed off on reliever Dan Frieberg. A single by Nate Garrett, Fore's sacrifice bunt, Rasmussen's double, Meierkort's single, and Scott Iverson's two-run homer to straightaway left gave Post 1 a dramatic 6-5 lead.
Miracles help, and Post 1 got one in the top of the eighth after a leadoff walk and a single off reliever Tyler Husby had put runners on first and second with no outs. Pinchhitter Ethan Sorensen, attempting to bunt, popped the ball into the air. Husby snared it between the mound and first, then fired to second base to double off the baserunner there. A harmless outfield fly ball ended the inning with no damage done.
Vermillion had an insurance run to second base with one out in the eighth and couldn't score.
Beresford's first two batters in the top of the ninth tied the game, a sacrifice fly by Anderson making the score 6-6. It could have been worse, however, With two out, Beresford got two hits, but catcher Iverson nailed a runner trying to go to third on a wild pitch with third-basesman Nick Anglin applying the inning-ending tag.
Needing one run to win, Post 1 got a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Meierkort in the bottom of the ninth to get the winning run to second with one out but again failed to capitalize.
The fateful top of the 10th saw Post 1 come within a whisker of escaping disaster. A slashing line drive off pitcher Husby's body led off the inning, and another hit followed. With one out Jensen singled to load the bases. What Vermillion needed was a double-play ball, and that's what they got. The force was made at second, but the throw to first was high and wide, allowing two runs to score.
Vermillion had the tying runs at second and third with no outs in the bottom of the 10th after Zach McDonald walked and Stormy Mirtz doubled. Nate Garrett's walk loaded the bases with one out, but the next two batters were retired to end the game with three Post 1 runners stranded. Frieberg escaped the jam by striking out two men in that half-inning, and an outfield fly brought an end to the drama.
Fore, Rasmussen and Mirtz had two hits each among Vermillion's nine. Andrew Erickson had three of Beresford's 16 hits, and six others had two hits each.
Starter Anglin went six innings. Though he gave up eight hits, he allowed only four earned runs while fanning three and walking two. Husby gave up eight hits in his four innings of relief but only one earned run while striking out two and walking one. In the end it was the three runs that scored on error plays and another on a wild pitch that cost the game.
Lennox 8, Post 1 – 3
Post 1 had a 3-2 lead after seven innings in its home opener Saturday, but it got away from them when Lennox scored three runs in the eighth and three in the ninth to pull away.
Each team had scored once in the first inning, Vermillion's run coming when Jason Rasmussen walked, went to second on an unsuccessful pickoff attempt, and scored on Chayse Meierkort's hit. Lennox went up 2-1 in the fourth as T.J. Harrington was hit with a pitch, stole second and scored on Dusty Javers' double. Further damage was prevented when center-fielder D'Andre Fore, fielding Javers' ball, threw a strike to catcher Meierkort who stood his ground at the plate and tagged out Javers as he tried to score on Travis Buckneberg's single.
Meanwhile, Lennox hurler Drew Sweeter, who pitched the complete nine innings, was retiring 10 straight Post 1 batters. Finally in the sixth Vermillion took its lead. Fore doubled and scored on Rasmussen's single. After stealing second, he in turn scored on Meierkort's hit, strategically placed down the right-field line about a foot inside the chalk.
Starter Tyler Husby pitched the first seven innings, striking out seven, walking four and giving up six hits. He left the game in line to get the pitching win, but it was not to be. Lennox put together three straight doubles and a single off reliever Nate Garrett in the eighth. Four more singles in the ninth added three insurance runs.
Rasmussen and Meierkort had two each of Vermillion's seven hits, and Meierkort drove in two runs and Rasmussen one. Zach McDonald, Caleb Miller and Fore each had one hit.
Post 1 – 18, Elk Point 3
The season began with a flourish last Thursday as Post 1 slammed four Elk Point pitchers for 15 hits and had two five-run innings and two four-run innings in an 18-3 seven-inning victory.
Zach McDonald did precisely what a designated hitter is out there to do � three doubles, a grand-slam homerun and a walk in five at-bats, seven runs batted in, and three runs scored. Jason Rasmussen had three hits, and Nate Garrett, D'Andre Fore and Scott Iverson two hits each.
Post 1 got on the board with four runs in the third. After a two-run homer by Elk Point cut its deficit to 4-2, Post 1 promptly responded in style with four more in the fourth. Five runs in the sixth (McDonald's slam was the biggest blow of all) and five more in the seventh put the game far out of reach.
Starter Nick Anglin went five innings and allowed only three Elk Point hits � a two-run homer, a solo homer and a single. He struck out seven and walked five. Reliever Tyler Husby threw the final two innings gave up only one hit and one walk, but he didn't need any defense behind him because all six of the outs he recorded came on strikeouts.
Lewis & Clark Tourney
The 10th annual Lewis & Clark Wood Bat Classic will take place at Prentis Park as well as Yankton and Hartington this weekend. Five games will be played in Vermillion on both Friday and Saturday.
Post 1's games are against Mitchell at 11 a.m. Friday, Groton at 8 p.m., Blair, Neb., at 11 a.m. Saturday and Brookings at 8 p.m. The winner of the Vermillion pool advances to championship day in Yankton on Sunday.
Next week Post 1 returns to action in a rematch at Beresford on Thursday night.