Starting pitcher Nile Morecraft and reliever Collin Bertram allowed Bon Homme/Scotland only three hits, walked only two batters while striking out 10 as Vermillion stayed unbeaten against regional opponents with a 3-1 win at Prentis Park Friday night.
The Tanagers, now 7-3 overall and 4-0 against teams within Region 1B, face a busy weekend, starting with a rematch against rival Beresford/Centerville at Prentis Park tonight (Friday). The varsity game starts at 5 with the JV contest to follow.
On Sunday VHS goes first to Tabor to take on Bon Homme/Scotland again with the first pitch set for 2 p.m. In the evening the varsity will go farther west to Wagner to make up a previous rainout at 7 p.m. Next Thursday VHS goes to Dakota Valley with the varsity team starting play at 5 p.m.
The Tanagers gained an early 2-0 lead for Morecraft in the first inning against Bon Homme/Scotland. Leadoff man D'Andre Fore singled, moved to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on Caleb Miller's sacrifice bunt and scored on Chayse Meierkort's RBI hit.
A typical VHS small-ball rally continued as Meierkort stole second, advanced to third on Tanner Anderson's infield grounder and scored on a single by Stormy Mirtz.
The only two hits Morecraft allowed had come back to back in the top of the first inning with one out. But center-fielder Fore threw out the lead runner at the plate with Meierkort applying the tag. A fly ball to center ended the threat.
Bon Homme/Scotland used a hit batter and a wild pitch to pose a mild threat in the fourth, but Meierkort threw out a runner trying to steal third base.
The visitors scored their only run in the fifth off Bertram, but they probably shouldn't have. Bertram struck out the inning's leadoff man, Jeff Honner, but the third strike was dropped, and Honner reached first base. He promptly scored from there on a double down the left-field line by Chase Kortan. Kortan was thrown out by Meierkort trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Bertram in his three innings of work accounted for seven of the nine outs with strikeouts and did not allow another hit.
The Tanagers answered the Bon Homme/Scotland run with one of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Colin Olson, pinch-running for Miller, who reached on a walk, stole second, went to third on Anderson's single and scored on a passed ball.
The fast-moving game, which was completed in about 90 minutes, ended with a triumphant flourish when Bertram struck out the side in the top of the seventh.
Meierkort and Anderson had two hits each among Vermillion's seven.
BH/S starter Blase Vanecek, who allowed all seven hits during his five innings of pitching, took the loss.
The Tanager JVs also won their game against Bon Homme/Scotland.