Two late offensive rallies Saturday led Rapid City American Legion Post 320 to two wins against Miles City, Mont., 7-5 and 8-4. Saturday at Pete Lien Field.
In both games the Stars were tied or trailed going into the fourth inning. A five-run bottom of the sixth in game one and seven runs in the last three innings of game two put Post 320 over the top.
"I was proud of them because they kept on having better at-bats," Post 320 coach Paul Pool said. "Offensively, early in the season, it's a big thing trying to get your timing down and have good approaches at the plate. I felt like throughout the day we kept getting a little more comfortable at the plate."
Early in the first game the Stars struggled offensively. Miles City got off to a good start by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Shane Sinclair led the Outlaws during the first game by contributing three hits.
Post 320 bounced back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the third inning, but Miles City wouldn't be done scoring.
It scored one run in the top of the fourth inning followed by two runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead.
This is when the Stars woke up. The inning began with a lead-off home run from Ian Krump to make it 5-3.
Brett Beyer would follow with a ground rule double and Mason Russell worked a walk to load the bases for Seth Brewer, who promptly unloaded them with a triple that scored Connor Burgess, Beyer and Russell to give Post 320 a 6-5 lead. Brewer would come in to score on a passed ball just a few pitches later.
The Stars committed three errors in the first game.
"The first game was a tough ball game," Pool admitted. "We battled and battled and were kind of struggling offensively. Then we finally got to that sixth inning."
Keegan Kast went three innings on the mound for the Stars and struck out six. Dawson Penticoff also went 2 2/3 innings and threw 11 first-pitch strikes.
"Overall, I thought our pitchers did a good job," Pool said. "They battled, they competed, so yeah getting a sweep is a lot better than getting a split."
Krump, who got the offensive rally started for Post 320 in the first game, started the second game on the mound.
It was Miles City that again was able to jump on Post 320 in the first inning. Casey Seyfret started the game by working a walk. Kyle Nielson responded with a single that moved Seyfret to third. He scored when Sebastian Morrow hit into a double play.
Miles City would get another run in the third inning. Jakob Kok started the inning with a single and scored later when Quayde Shores hit into a fielder's choice that brought him home.
Post 320 responded with a run in the bottom of the third. Russell scored on a passed ball to cut the score to 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Post 320's Brewer scored a run after his single and Penticoff scored after he walked to put the Stars back in front.
In the top of the fifth, Miles City was able to tie the game when Seyfret scored on a double from Shores, but the tie game didn't last long.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Outlaws gave up three runs and had three walks in the inning. Brewer hit a sacrifice fly that scored Burgess and Rylan Sudrala blew the game open with an two-RBI single that scored Beyer and Cam White to make the score 6-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Outlaws threw balls on 14 straight pitches at one point and gave up two runs on no hits. Krump scored when White was walked with the bases loaded and Burgess was able to do the same when the next batter, Brewer, was walked.
Overall Miles City walked 10 batters during the second game, including five straight in the bottom of the sixth.
The top of the seventh wasn't without drama. Back-to-back errors from Post 320 allowed Shores to score but the deficit was too big to come back from, as the
Stars moved to 3-1 on the season.
Pool admitted that the late errors can't continue to happen in Post 320 if going to be taken seriously as contenders.
"Defensively we made too many errors, and it was kind of one of those days where it seemed like there were some weird balls hit," he said. "They would beat them to the ground or it would be a slow roller and you have to come charging and make plays on the run, so it was things like that we're making errors on.
"They're plays you have to make but they obviously aren't your routine plays as well, but we have to clean up defensively."
Post 320 takes on Gillette, Wyo., in a doubleheader from Pete Lien Memorial Field today. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.