By Caleb Miller
While Legion and Teener teams compete for region championships this week, Vermillion fans can rest easy knowing the future looks bright for Vermillion baseball.
What started as a rain and snow filled spring has turned into a summer of great baseball for the Vermillion 9- and 10-year-old travel baseball team. They began their season with preparations for the DakotaDome Classic tournament in mid-March with a strong focus on drills and fundamentals. The month of May consisted of heavy practice schedule and a doubleheader sweep of the Yankton Reds. The first weekend in June the team then traveled to Humbolt for a day of grueling baseball. Due to weather and schedule changes the 9-10 were slated to play four straight games back to back. It was a gutsy performance in the 42-degree rainy weather.
Mid-June saw a Vermillion baseball invasion of Brandon Valley. The Brandon Valley Sunshine Tournament had the Vermillion 9-10 team, 11-12 team, and the 13-14 Teener Reds entered in each division. The weekend was one for the books as both the 9-10 and the Reds brought home championships. The 9-10′s reach the title game with a 1 to 0 semi-final win over Tea and then won the tournament with a 12 to 5 come-from-behind win over Hills, Minnesota.
As the host team in the Vermillion tournament the 9-10s found themselves facing some tough competition against a Sioux City Thunder and Sioux Falls Travel team. After a loss to Sioux Falls and a win against Rock Valley the boys put on a very good demonstration of fundamental baseball but came up short 3-2 against the Sioux City Thunder in the conciliation championship.
Fourth of July weekend was time for a break and the team came together for a Saturday pool party and wiffle ball game. It was a great day for the team to build on their friendships and have some fun. The season ends with the VFW State Tournament in Sioux Falls on July 19, 20, and 21. The tournament features 16 teams from around the state with a championship round following two days of pool play. The 9-10 baseball roster includes Conner Saunders, Jack Kratz, Drew and Dylan Thelen, Luke Van Peursen, Logan Augustine, Nich Roob, Noah Gilbertson, Willis Robertson, Carter Mart, Jake Jensen and Charlie Ward.