Vermillion's VFW 13-14 Teeners will open their state tournament at Humboldt at noon today (Friday) against Spearfish after clinching the Region 1A championship with a win over Irene last Thursday.
The other game in the upper bracket pits Madison 14 against Sioux Falls Christian at 2:30 p.m. The evening quarterfinal bracket has two-time defending champion Tyndall against Big Stone City/Ortonville at 5:30 p.m., following by Humboldt 14 vs. Irene/Wakonda. The evening session will be preceded at 5 p.m. by an opening ceremony featuring all eight teams in uniform.
The state tournament will be played out to six places. If Vermillion wins its opener, its next game would be at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. If Vermillion loses to Spearfish, the next game would be at noon Saturday. Sunday's schedule has a fifth-place game at noon, a third-place game at 3 p.m. and the championship game at 6. There will be no seventh-place game.
Vermillion and Irene clashed in last Thursday's Region 1A championship game at Elk Point with both teams assured of berths in the state tournament. After Irene took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Vermillion took charge and removed all drama from the situation.
A five-run first inning gave Vermillion more of a lead than starting pitcher Billy Mount needed. He cruised through the six-inning contest, allowing only four hits and striking out seven.
In that bottom of the first, Vermillion, which had beaten Irene earlier in the week 8-3, was given a leadoff walk, and then after two were out, a hit batter, two more walks and singles by Brandon Mockler and Joe Miller made it 5-1. It was 6-1 into the third when Vermillion scored four more times on two walks, two hit batters and a Carter Kratz basehit.
In the sixth, already leading 11-2, Vermillion got its chance to end the game prematurely when Miller led off with his second hit of the game. Two outs later, pinchhitter Wyatt Markee drilled a basehit into right field, scoring Miller all the way from first as the team reached the 12-2 advantage that ended the tournament.
Mockler also had two hits in the game for Vermillion, which went through the regional unbeaten at 4-0.