The baseball season continues into the state Class "A" amateur tournament this weekend for the Vermillion Red Sox, who emerged from the Southeast Regional Tournament as one of three teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Red Sox will play the Rapid City A's at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Yankton's Riverside Field in the first round of the state classic. At 5 p.m. that day the Pierre Rattlers will take on the Brandon Valley Merchants.
The tourney begins at Yankton Friday with a doubleheader that matches the Renner Monarchs against the Sioux Falls Saints, followed by Castlewood vs. Mitchell. The weekend's four winners advance to the next round in Mitchell next weekend.
Vermillion clinched its state tourney berth with an 11-1 trouncing of the Yankton Tappers last Wednesday, ending the game prematurely with a four-run bottom of the seventh that invoked the 10-run mercy rule.
Meanwhile, Red Sox hurler Nate Olsen kept the Tappers in check all night. Yankton didn't have a hit off Olsen until Jared Miller launched a home run over the right-field wall in the fifth inning. The Tappers loaded the bases with two out in that inning in an attempt to cut even more into a 5-1 Vermillion lead, but Jason Livermont's line drive was caught just above ground level by second-baseman A.J. Staiert to end the rally.
Yankton was no threat after that as the Red Sox scored two in the fifth on RBI doubles by Cody Aughton and Dan Hansen.
The game-ending outburst in the seventh was ignited by Reese Steckler's single. Following an infield error, Aughton's bunt basehit was played into a costly two-base error. Hansen's double and Robin Chute's single finished it off.
Miller had Yankton's only two hits off Olsen. Tapper starter Trey Krier surrendered the first seven Sox runs to take the loss.
Earlier in the tournament the Red Sox had lsot to the Renner Monarchs, 15-2, in another seven-inning affair. Jay Merrigan had two of Vermillion's seven hits. A grand-slam homer by Jason Nyhus was one of Renner's 14 hits.
Meanwhile, the Vermillion Grey Sox saw their season end in the District 7B tourney as the Akron Rebels topped the Grey Sox, 15-1, in a contest to determine the district's final state "B" tourney participant. Blaze Hanson pitched the seven-inning complete game, allowing only five hits while fanning three. Four Grey Sox hurlers allowed 16 walks. Tyler Johnson had the lone RBI for Vermillion.