By Parker Knox
Vermillion Post 1 opened the American Legion baseball season with some thunder and lightning of their own making, stomping on Dakota Valley, 18-3.
Post 1 can only hope some of that power continues into this weekend when the 12th annual Wood Bat Classic will be played at three sites, including Vermillion’s Prentis Park.
Post 1 will open play at 10:30 a.m. today (Friday) against Sioux Falls West, then will play Sturgis at 7:30 p.m. Vermillion’s Saturday games are against defending state ‘A’ Legion champion Brookings at 10 a.m. and South Sioux City at 7 p.m. There will be five games each day with each of the five teams in the pool playing each other.
The Yankton pool will involve the host team as well as Brandon Valley, Blair, Spearfish and Omaha Central. Playing their games at Crofton will be Norfolk, Mitchell, Groton, Tabor and Crofton.
The champion at each site, plus one wild card team, will meet in Yankton on Sunday for semifinal games at 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. and a title game to follow at 3:30.
Post 1 scored five times in the top of the first at North Sioux City Tuesday night, then had three three-run innings in the third, fifth and sixth and a four-run seventh.
Jayce Huska went 4-for-4 at the plate, driving in four runs. Peter Haught and Joe Mazour had two hits each. Tanner Anderson, Colin Olson and Nate Garrett each had a hit among Post 1’s total of 11 base knocks. Anderson and Olson had two RBIs apiece. Collin Bertram and Mazour each scored three times while Nile Morecraft, Tanner Settles, Olson, Haught and Garrett all scored twice each.
In other words, everybody had a share in the big win.
Bertram pitched the first four innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out three and walking four. Olson took over for the next three stanzas, allowing two hits, two walks and two runs, one of them unearned, while striking out one. Morecraft fired a perfect bottom of the seventh.
Isaac Faldmo weathered a stormy first four innings on the mound for Dakota Valley, permitting six hits, five earned runs and four walks. Reliever Andrew Prochello also walked four and allowed three hits and two earned runs. Cody Sexton pitched the top of the seventh and gave up two hits along with four unearned runs.
While the walks they were given and the hits they achieved helped the Vermillion cause, 10 Dakota Valley errors cost the losers dearly, to such an extent that 11 of Post 1’s 18 tallies were unearned runs.