For the Vermillion Red Sox there is all winter to think about what might have been.
Except for a five-minute stretch in the top of the sixth inning in their third-round game of the state "A" tournament in Mitchell last Friday night, Manager Kirk Sorensen's Sox might have been playing on semifinal Saturday or even beyond.
Castlewood, however, put together a four-run sixth to change a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 lead, and that proved to be enough for a 6-5 win, eliminating Vermillion.
To make matters worse, the Red Sox had chances in the late innings, scoring once in the seventh to move to within a run, then leaving the bases loaded in the eighth and stranding two more in the ninth when the game ended. At the same time reliever Nate Olsen was throwing three innings of scoreless relief from the mound.
The Red Sox controlled the first one-third of the game, leading 4-0 after three innings.
In the first RBI singles by Colby Lessmann and Eric McLaughlin made it 2-0. Two innings later a grounder off Tyler Candor's bat scored a third run, and Robin Chute scored when a Castlewood outfielder dropped a fly ball.
But then the Ravens began chipping away, getting a run on two walks, a wild pitch and Rich Remmers' sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth.
It became 4-2 in the fifth when Ryan Engels struck out but reached base when the third strike got away at the plate. He later scored on a single by Lucas Hoftiezer.
The fateful sixth started with Matt Stevenson's single and a walk to Mark Stevenson. Charlie Benz was brought in in relief for the Red Sox, but his own defense let him down. Two errors on Benz let in a run and loaded the bases. Benz retired the next two batters to almost escape disaster, but Castlewood's Eric Danforth cleared the sacks with a double that scored three.
Vermillion got one back in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Chute but saw its chances in the final two innings go by the boards.