With a win on Friday afternoon, the Rapid City Post 22 American Legion baseball team would punch its ticket to the semifinal game of the 2016 South Dakota American Legion Class A State baseball tournament.
With some timely hitting and some defensive help from Sioux Falls East, the Hardhats did just that as they scored an 11-2 win at Harmodon Park in Sioux Falls.
The Hardhats wasted no time getting out to a quick start, erupting for five runs in the bottom half of the opening inning. Riley McSherry scored Post 22’s first run of the game, crossing home on an error from Sioux Falls East’s Evan Kuhnert.
A short time later, Drake Messinger scored on an Erik Petry double to left, followed by another East error to give the Hardhats the early advantage.
Sioux Falls East had a difficult time fielding the ball early, allowing five runs on three first inning errors.
Sioux Falls east continued to shoot itself in the foot the rest of the way, giving up another trio of runs in the bottom of the fifth, accompanied by a pair of errors.
The Hardhats continued to add to its lead in the sixth as Matt Vickers scored on a Zach Solano single to left field. Solano added another RBI single in the eighth to seal Post 22’s quarterfinal victory.
Kolton Scherbenske started the game for the Hardhats and picked up the win, pitching the first six innings while striking out six and allowing two runs on nine hits.
Petry led the way for the Hardhats with four hits and two RBIs, while Solano finished with two hits and two RBIs.
The Hardhats (48-11, 3-0 in tournament play) will play Renner today at 3 p.m. Renner eliminated Brandon Valley 7-3 on Friday.
Stars rout Watertown in consolation game
Post 320 stayed alive in the State A consolation tournament with an easy win in Sioux Falls on Friday morning.
The Stars took advantage of their offensive opportunities, as they had little trouble in a 12-3 victory over Watertown.
After opening the third inning with a run, the Stars extended their early lead with three more runs in the top half of the fourth.
Watertown cut the deficit with a run in the fifth, but the Stars answered with two more runs in the sixth to take a 6-1 lead.
Up 6-3 heading into the ninth, Post 320’s bats erupted, scoring six runs to put the game away for good.
Brett Beyer picked up the win for the Stars on the mound, giving up three runs on eight hits, while striking out eight batters in 7 2/3 innings. Beyer had a big day on offense, finishing the game with three hits and four RBIs in six total at bats.
Devon Romey had a big day for Post 320 as well, knocking in four runs on two hits, while Hunter Kiewel finished with three hits and one RBI.
The Stars (33-16, 2-1 tournament) will take on Sioux Falls East today at noon.