The Rapid City Post 22 American Legion baseball team opened the first day of the Jim Hanus Gopher Classic Baseball Tournament on Friday in Minneapolis with a pair of lopsided wins.
The Hardhats scored an easy 10-2 win over Hopkins, Minn., before shutting out Fridley Gold, Minn., 8-0 in a quick afternoon matchup.
In its win over Hopkins, Post 22 got on the board early as Drake Messinger scored on a Zach Solano single and Erik Petry reached home on an error in the first inning.
Hopkins cut the lead to one run in the first, but the Hardhats scored another run in each of the second and third innings to take a 4-1 lead.
Up 6-2 going into the seventh, the Hardhats put the game out of reach for good as Matt Vickers scored on a Solano single and Holden Jackson scored on a Timmy Paris single. A short time later, Solano scored on a wild pitch and Paris reached home as Cooper Bowman grounded out to second base.
Paris led the Hardhats with four hits and two RBIs, while Solano chipped in with two hits and two RBIs.
The Hardhats started the second game of the day with an early advantage as well as Sam Haug scored on a Vickers sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the first inning.
Up 2-0, Post 22’s offense erupted for six runs in the fourth inning, initiated by a Justin Kraemer single to right field. A short time later, Bowman scored as Haug was hit by a pitch and Carter Deming reached on a Messinger groundout. Haug and Vickers scored on an error to close out the inning.
Vickers paced the Hardhats with two RBIs and one hit.
Kolton Scherbenske picked up the win for the Hardhats, holding Fridley to just three hits while striking out four batters in five innings.
The Hardhats (35-9) will continue tournament play today starting with Green Bay, Wis., at 10:30 a.m. before taking on Minneapolis Southwest, Minn., at 1 p.m.
Stars fail to advance at Boulder tourney
Post 320 made some costly late-game mistakes on its way to dropping a narrow 3-2 loss to the Boulder, Colo., Purple on the third day of the Boulder National Invitational baseball tournament in Boulder on Friday afternoon.
The Stars jumped ahead early as Brett Beyer doubled before scoring on a Cullen Gilbertson single in the top half of the first inning.
Down a run early, Boulder responded in the second inning with a run of its own to tie the game at one run apiece.
Gilbertson helped the Stars regain the lead after bringing Connor Burgess home on a sacrifice fly after Burgess reached base on a double.
The Purple had yet another answer for the Stars in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 2-2.
Just like Thursday’s matchup, the Stars had opportunities late, but were unable to capitalize on those openings.
With runners in scoring position in the fifth inning, the Stars had two base runners thrown out at home plate. Boulder would capitalize on those mistakes a short time later, scoring the game clinching run in the bottom of the inning.
Gilbertson paced the Stars offensively with two hits and two RBIs, while Burgess finished with two hits.
Curtis Stahlecker started on the mound for the Stars and allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings.
The Stars, who went 2-2 in the tournament, drop to 27-12 and will be at cross town rival Rapid City Post 22 on Wednesday at Fitzgerald Field at 7 p.m.