The last of the local baseball teams to begin postseason play, the Vermillion 15-16 Teeners will take to the field in Elk Point at 8 p.m. Monday night in their first game of the double-elimination regional tournament.
Vermillion's second game will be at 6 or 8 p.m. Tuesday. The tournament champion to be determined by the following weekend will advance to the state tournament in Flandreau.
The final week of the regular season began with a 6-5 nailbiter of a win over Canton at Prentis Park last Thursday. Vermillion trailed 3-2 into the bottom of the fifth when a one-out walk to Tanner Settles started a four-run inning. Chayse Meierkort's double scored Settles, and Nile Morecraft's single scored Meierkort. Walks to Collin Bertram and Jayce Huska set the table for Joe Mazour to single them both home.
A pair of great defensive plays by Joe Mazour at third base started the top of the sixth, and they would prove crucial when the following three batters for Canton reached base, two of them scoring to cut the Vermillion lead to 6-5. In the top of the seventh reliever Tanner Anderson, who got the pitching win, gave up a leadoff single, but that man was later erased in a force play, and Anderson coaxed an outfield fly and an infield grounder from Canton batters to end the game.
Back in the first inning leadoff man Anderson singled and moved around to score on a Meierkort single. Vermillion's other run came in the third when Meierkort's two-out double was cashed in on Collin Bertram's single.
Meierkort finished with three hits and two RBIs and scored twice. Anderson had two hits among Vermillion's total of eight. Mazour also had two RBIs.
Mazour started on the mound and was scored on in only the fourth of his four innings of work. A single, a double, an infield error and an infield grounder produced two Canton runs. Canton took a 3-2 lead off Anderson in the fifth, but he retired the side with runners at the corners.
The junior varsity game was a 19-1 three-inning rout. Vermillion scored six runs on four hits in the first inning and batted 18 men in a 13-run, seven-hit second that included seven walks and one costly infield throwing error on a play that would have ended the inning with only two runs scoring instead of 13.
Peter Haught had four RBIs, three of them on a bases-loaded triple. Seth Heine, Jayce Huska and Tanner Settles each drove in three runs. Heine had three hits, and he, Ty Iverson, Huska and Haught each scored three times.
Huska pitched all three innings, giving up four hits and one unearned run while striking out two.
Winning their sixth straight and their eighth in the past nine games, the 15-16 Teeners put Harrisburg out of its misery by reaching a 15-0 advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning, promptly ending the game at that point.
Seven Harrisburg errors certainly helped Vermillion's cause, but the home teamers were slamming the ball all over Prentis Park to the tune of 15 hits. Jayce Huska and Collin Bertram slugged RBI hits in a three-run first. Then Vermillion batted 11 men in an eight-run second inning that included seven consecutive batters hitting safely at one point. Chayse Meierkort and Bertram each had a two-run hit in the inning. Tanner Settles, Huska, Nile Morecraft and Peter Haught also each drove in a run.
Another Huska hit and another error let two more runs score in the third. Finally a two-run double by Meierkort in the fourth lifted the score to 15-0 and ended the game.'
Morecraft scored three times. Meierkkort had three hits and four RBIs, Huska three hits and three RBIs, and Morecraft, Bertram and Colin Olson two hits each.
Bertram needed very little defensive help behind him as he cruised to a pitching win. Of the 12 Harrisburg outs, eight were strikeouts. The only hit off Bertram, who did not walk a batter, was a two-out triple in the first inning. The only other Harrisburg baserunner, who reached on an infield error in the fourth, was erased on a double play.
The five-inning JV game was another Vermillion shutout win, 5-0, Olson struck out five in throwing a complete game six-hitter.
Morecraft had an RBI pop-up in the second. An error led to a third-inning run scoring on a ground-out. Olson's triple and Bertram;s double were followed by an RBI single by Morecraft and an RBI triple by Tanner Anderson in the fourth. Bertram had two of his team's seven base knocks.
Following a loss at Garretson Saturday morning, Vermillion hosted the Yankton 16 Black Sox Monday night, and the game got away in the late innings and ended in a 10-6 Yankton win.
A first-inning Yankton run was offset by a three-run rally by Vermillion in the fourth as a single by Collin Bertram, a successful double steal and an infield grounder by Tanner Anderson drove three across the plate. Bertram pitched the first four innings and restricted Yankton to three hits whlie fanning three and walking three.
A bases-loaded hit batter by reliever Chayse Meierkort in the fifth brought Yankton back to within 3-2, and the visitors put the game away with an ugly six-run uprising that included four hits, two walks, two errors, a wild pitch that scored a run, and a sacrifice fly.
Seth Heine doubled home a run in the sixth, and another scored on a catcher's throwing error, but Yankton answered with two more runs in the seventh. A final Vermillion run in the seventh scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Colin Olson.
Anderson, Peter Haught and Bertram had two hits apiece among Vermillion's eight.
The "B" team, which won at Garretson Saturday, also beat Yankton, 8-5. Jay Munger drove in two runs and Ty Iverson and Olson one each in a four-run first. Heine and Meierkort each drove in a run in the third, and Damarius Cheeseman followed with a two-run double.
Munger, Heine, Meierkort and Ethan James each had two hits for Vermillion. Nile Morecraft pitched 2 1/3 innings, and Anderson got the win in relief, throwing the final 2 2/3 innings and allowing a single run.