Vermillion’s youth baseball teams competed in the final games of the Southeast South Dakota Midgets Baseball League Tournament last Thursday.
The Vermillion 9U and 10U boys competed in the 10 & Under bracket, and the 12U boys competed in the 12 & Under category.
The 10U and 12U teams won their brackets, and 9U brought home the bronze.
Vermillion 12U remains undefeated all season
The #2 Vermillion 12U boys faced #1 Dakota Valley in the 12 & Under Championship game last Thursday in Beresford.
Vermillion was undefeated going into the league championship, and they remained so after a 3-1 victory.
“I expected we could win the league if we put our hearts into the game because we know when it is time to become serious and put our minds into the game,” said second baseman Tate Hage. “I knew it wasn't going to be an easy feat because of some of the competition we had, but expectations just became a reality last night.”
Koby Detlefson and Rollie French each scored a run in the second inning to put some runs on the scoreboard.
Connor Peterson threw three consecutive strikeouts in the second to keep Dakota Valley scoreless. The game remained 2-0 until the last inning.
Vermillion scored another run in the top of the sixth to take a 3-0 lead.
The opponents scored their first run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Vermillion did not allow anymore to win the championship 3-1.
“When we won, it was just a joy of relief,” said French. “When Jack Moskowitz threw the last pitch, I knew it was going to be a strike. It was a great season, and I can’t wait for next season.”
C. Peterson pitched the first three innings and Jack Moskowitz finished the game. Each tallied seven strikeouts on the night.
“I am very excited to see what the future holds for these young athletes because if they keep up the hard work and positive attitudes, that future will be very bright,” said coach Gray Peterson.
Coaches Hunter Christopherson, Riley Johnson, and Peterson are proud of how far the team has come.
“The thing that I am most proud of is how all my players improved as baseball players across the course of the season,” said coach Johnson. “Not only did they get better skill-wise, but they also learned a lot of the little things that makes baseball so special.”
Vermillion 10U wins league championship
The #2 Vermillion 10U played #7 Centerville in the 10 & Under championship game last Thursday. Vermillion won in a close game 4-2.
Vermillion scored the first run in the second inning and three more in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
Centerville started rallying with one run in the fourth. They scored another in the sixth, but Vermillion locked down on defense to get three outs and end the game.
“It was so much fun watching these boys improve,” said coach Mike Moran. “On the last play of the game, when Austin threw to Dax and got the third out in the baseline, I felt like I jumped about 10 feet off the ground. I was so excited for those boys. Not because we won the game, but because they made an unbelievable play to seal the game.”
Austin Sudbeck and Dax Christensen were happy after making the play to seal the deal.
“I was excited and happy knowing we just won the championship after that out,” said Sudbeck.
Christensen agrees despite the nerves leading up to the final out.
“It was intense,” said Christensen. “I was getting nervous to get the out, and then happy when we got the win.”
Vermillion won the 10 & Under Championship 4-2. They had seven hits, and the opponents had three hits on the night.
From the plate, Ryne Chapman had three RBIs off a triple.
“[I felt] really happy because I helped the team win,” said Chapman.
He also pitched three innings and tallied seven strikeouts.
Rylan Moran pitched the final three innings for Vermillion and had 13 first-pitch strikes.
“[I felt] excited and nervous at the same time,” said R. Moran. “[I] just took a deep breath and just played.”
The 10U boys finished their season undefeated in league play. Their overall record was 14-4 with two losses to Dakota Valley early in the season and two losses in the Larchwood, Iowa, tournament this past weekend.
In the Larchwood tournament, Vermillion went 1-2. They fell to West Lyon, Iowa, 1-8; defeated Orange City, Iowa, 7-4; and lost to Luverne, Minnesota, 2-5.
Vermillion 9U earns bronze
The fourth seed Vermillion 9U boys played #1 Alcester in the third-place game last Thursday in Beresford. They won the bronze 16-1 in four innings.
“We really enjoyed watching this group grow as a team and as ballplayers this summer,” said head coach Nick Hovden. “Only a few players heading into the season had played kid-pitch before, so to see them compete and have success in a league of older, more experienced players was impressive.”
Vermillion had a 2-0 lead after the second inning. In the third, the 9U boys scored nine runs before Alcester got the third out.
The opponents responded with one in the bottom of the third inning.
Vermillion was ahead 11-1 heading into the fourth. They scored five runs to end the game early and win 16-1.
Vermillion had 14 hits and no errors. Alcester had two hits and one error on the night.
At bat, Jackson Beacom had three RBIs and two hits. Kellen Beach had two RBIs and three hits. Tysen Hovden had two RBIs, and Ben Green had three hits.
T. Hovden and Beacom pitched for Vermillion. T. Hovden recorded the game-high eight strikeouts.
“My favorite part of the season was getting third-place because we’re younger than the other teams,” said Beacom. “I didn’t expect us to do so well, but we worked hard and played well together.”
The Vermillion 9U boys finished their season 14-3 with two league losses to Viborg-Hurley and the Vermillion 10U boys.
“This was such a fun group of kids, we can’t wait to see what next summer has in store for all of them,” said coach Hovden.