By Caleb Miller
It was a light week for Post 1 after nine games in seven days last week.
First, Vermillion defeated Dells Rapids 6-1 on the road Wednesday, June 19, to avenge a loss to the Dells team earlier this season.
The next stop for Post 1 was a tournament in Brookings the weekend of June 22 featuring top teams from around South Dakota and Minnesota.
The tournament’s strong competition as well as a few key players absent from the Post 1 lineup was a damaging combination and led to a 1-2 record for Vermillion in the tournament that was shortened due to rain.
Post, 1 0; Coon Rapids, MN, 2
Game one last Friday, June 21, looked to be a David vs. Goliath battle as Post 1 battled a powerful team from Coon Rapids.
To make matters worse, starters and major producers for the Vermillion offense Chayse Meierkort, Tanner Anderson, and Jayce Huska were all absent in various commitments.
But Post 1 put up quite a fight behind a gem by Jake Odens. Making his first legion appearance of the season, Odens pitched all six innings and quieted the powerful Coon Rapids offense with five strikeouts and no walks.
Coon Rapids managed to string together three, two-out hits in the fifth to plate their only two runs of the game.
Coon Rapids pitcher Alex Aase, however, stifled the Vermillion offense to the tune of two hits and no runs. Only Collin Bertram and Seth Miller managed hits against Aase.
Vermillion did manage to load the bases with one out in the third inning, but Aase struck out Colin Olson and Nile Morecraft to get out of the jam.
Post 1, 5; Pierre, 13
The absences in the Vermillion lineup were especially clear in game two on Friday afternoon, June 21.
With the lineup shuffled, Vermillion players were forced into new positions and the inexperience showed against Pierre. Vermillion made six errors, most of which on the infield, that lead to 8 unearned runs of Pierre’s 13 total runs. Colin Olson, Joe Mazour, and Tanner Settles combined to pitch the five-inning game shortened by the mercy rule.
The Post 1 offense kept them in the game in the early innings. Trailing 4-1, Vermillion pulled even with a three-run third inning. Bertram led off with a walk, and, after Settles sacrificed him to second, Huska – who returned to the team for game two – drove him in with a single. Then a pitch hit Peter Haught and Joe Mazour singled to load the bases for Morecraft who delivered a two-RBI single to right field.
But after Pierre answered with five runs (four unearned) in the top of the fourth, Vermillion could not make up the deficit.
Post 1, 5; Clear Lake, 1
With the return of Anderson and Meierkort, Post 1 was back to full strength Saturday night, June 22, for a contest with Clear Lake.
Bertram took the hill and Vermillion returned to form with a 5-1 victory that was never in question. Bertram allowed just four hits and one run, throwing all six innings and striking out six batters.
Vermillion took the lead in the second on the legs of Colin Olson. Olson walked to open the inning and swiped second with ease. After the catcher’s throw down to second sailed into centerfield, Olson – a state track champion – sped all the way around to score the game’s first run.
Insurance runs came in the next inning when two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Anderson with one out. He came through, blooping a single to right field to plate Morecraft. Settles followed up Anderson with a two-RBI single back up the middle to score Huska and Meierkort.
A 4-0 advantage is nearly insurmountable against Bertram, who has yet to lose this season. Settles delivered another RBI single in the fifth to plate Meierkort and ice the victory.
Thunderstorms Saturday night wiped out the tournament’s scheduled games on Sunday.
Carrying momentum from the victory over Clear Lake, Post 1 steamrolled Canton 10-0 at Prentis Park Tuesday, June 25. Morecraft pitched a shutout in the seven-inning contest, needing only 72 pitches dispose of the Canton offense. Bertram opened the scoring with a two-RBI single and Settles drove him in with a single of his own. Olson, Haught, and Nathan Garrett each scored two runs in the rout while Anderson and Miller had two hits apiece.