The Vermillion Grey Sox opened District 7B Tournament play with a rousing come-from-behind 19-9 eight-inning victory over the Renner Oldtimers last Wednesday night.
The Sox then lost a 12-2 eight-inning decision to host Garretson in the district semifinals Saturday. Vermillion remained alive for a state tournament berth as one of the district's representatives, however, needing to post a win over Elk Point on Wednesday to qualify.
The Grey Sox trailed 4-0 and 5-1 in the early going of their marathon first-round game against Renner but finally got even with a three-run third and a two-run fifth. A two-run single by Reid Meierkort was the big blow in the third-inning rally. In the fifth a leadoff double by Michael Kendall led to his scoring on a wild pitch. Cody Schreiber followed with a double, and his run driven in by Cory Taggart's single tied the game at 6-6.
The Sox blew the contest open in the sixth when 14 men batted and 10 of them scored. Kendall drove in three runs in that inning with a single and a double. Taggart, Jerrod Freidel, Travis Lee, and Jason Rasmussen each had an RBI in the inning, and three other runs scored on a double steal, a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk.
The Oldtimers got three of those runs back in the top of the seventh, but in the bottom of the eighth, after Lee, Tyler Johnson and Rasmussen had singled to load the bases with nobody out, Kyle Nemec put a quick end to the adventure with a bases-clearing double that gave the Sox a 10-run advantage again, thus abruptly ending the game.
Nemec had an earlier RBI for a total of four, Kendall had his three RBIs in one inning, and Meierkort and Taggart each drove in two. Lee was on base all five times he batted, registering four hits. Rasmussen was the ultimate leadoff man, reaching base all six times he batted, including three hits. Kendall and Nemec also had three hits each while Johnson, Taggart and Freidel had two hits each among Vermillion's total of 21.
Schreiber pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Grey Sox, giving up 10 hits, five of them in Renner's four-run second inning. He was relieved by Kendall, who allowed a two-run single but then retired the last four batters he faced.
A seven-run third inning by Garretson put the Grey Sox into an inescapable hole in Saturday's semifinal contest. Kyle Nemec's home run was the only Vermillion offensive highlight in a two-run eighth. Garretson scored two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to end the game via the 10-run rule at that point.
Tyler Johnson pitched for Vermillion until the seventh when Reid Meierkort took over. Nick Anglin had two of the seven Grey Sox hits.