The Vermillion Post 1 Legion baseball team hosted the South Dakota VFW Class B Region 4 Tournament this past week. Vermillion went 2-0 to advance to the championship.
Post 1’s first game was Monday against Garretson. Vermillion won 10-9 in an 8-inning duel.
“We were able to come back with our own blows,” said Post 1’s Sam Ward. “We would get punched in the face with a couple runs, and we’d come back and get three or more runs to match them.”
After the first inning, the game was tied at two. Post 1 scored one run in the second, but Garretson followed with three in the top of the third.
Vermillion tied the game 5-5 after the third inning. Garretson scored one in the fourth to take a 1-run lead.
The score remained 5-6 through the fifth inning. Post 1 rallied in the sixth to take the lead after adding four runs to the board, pulling ahead 9-6.
The opponents followed with three in the seventh to tie the game once more, and they held Vermillion in the bottom to send the game into an extra inning.
Post 1 clamped down on defense. At the plate in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, S. Ward had the walk-off for Vermillion’s 10-9 win.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I knew if I just hit it hard, then we would be able to score,” said Ward. “I didn’t try to take a big swing. I just tried to connect with it, and it ended up going far enough to score Connor.”
Vermillion had 10 hits and three errors in their first game of the Region 2 Tournament. Garretson recorded 10 hits and seven errors.
“We made a lot of good plays in the field that helped us keep our momentum going,” said Ward.
From the mound, Dylan Thelen started the game and pitched for over two innings. Gray Peterson, Ward, and Jacob Chaussee also threw for Post 1. Chaussee recorded three strikeouts.
At the plate, Jack Kratz had the game-high three hits. Connor Saunders and Willis Robertson each had two RBIs.
In the semifinal game, Vermillion defeated Dakota Valley 3-2 to reserve a spot in the state tournament and advance to the Region 4B Championship game.
The team had a few goals going into their second game of the tournament.
“Play our game,” said Chaussee. “Try to take good at-bats, which I think we did, and just get the win.”
Each team tallied one run in the first inning. Post 1 scored two in the second to gain a 3-1 lead.
The score remained the same through the sixth inning. Dakota Valley tried to rally in the seventh, scoring one before Vermillion got the final out.
Post 1 captured the 3-2 win to advance to the championship while also qualifying for the state tournament.
Vermillion had seven hits and two errors in the semifinal game. Dakota Valley recorded six hits and two errors.
Chaussee pitched the game for Post 1 and had four strikeouts. He focused on hitting spots throughout the seven innings.
“I really focused on staying inside and getting my slider to go for a strike instead of going for a ball,” said Chaussee.
On offense, Dylan Thelen, S. Ward, and Robertson each had one RBI.
Dakota Valley played the following game against Beresford-Centerville with the winner also qualifying for state and moving on to the region championship in the double-elimination tournament.
Vermillion played the winner which was determined Wednesday before the championship due to inclement weather Tuesday night.
“I’m just excited to get out and play,” said Chaussee about looking forward to the Region 4B Championship.
The game recap will be in next week’s paper.