The Rapid City Post 320 American Legion baseball team used strong defense and pitching, along with some late-game runs to pick up a come-from-behind 7-6 victory in 11 innings over Aberdeen in Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, the Stars took a two-run lead in the second inning as Devon Romey scored on an error and Hunter Kiewel scored on a passed ball.
Aberdeen answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the second, before Post 320 responded with three more runs in the third, initiated by Seth Brewer’s two-run double to right field. Brewer would reach home a short time later on a Kiewel single to left.
Down 5-1, Aberdeen wouldn’t go away without a fight as it would eventually take a 6-5 lead with two runs in the third and three more in the fifth.
The Stars responded immediately, tying the game on a Cullen Gilbertson single to center field.
Although neither team could find the scoreboard over the next four innings, the Stars took the lead for good in the 11th as Gilbertson scored on a Curtis Stahlecker single to center field.
Brett Beyer picked up the win for the Stars, giving up no runs on one hit while striking out six batters in the final three innings of play.
Brewer finished with one hit and two RBIs while Stahlecker and Gilbertson chipped in with two hits and one RBI apiece.
The Stars close out the regular season at 29-13 and will play Sturgis in the first round of the South Dakota Region 3A tournament at Fitzgerald Stadium on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Post 22 splits in Sioux Falls
Post 22 split a pair of games in a doubleheader with Sioux Falls West at the Birdcage in Sioux Falls on Saturday.
The Hardhats opened the day with a narrow 7-6 win, before struggling offensively in a 4-0 loss to West in an evening affair.
Post 22 found itself playing catch-up early in its first game, trailing 1-0 at the end of the second inning. The Hardhats tied the game at one run apiece as Carter Deming scored on an error from West catcher Sam Simonson.
West regained the lead with two runs in the third and another in the fourth.
After a Drake Messinger's RBI single cut the lead to 4-2 in the second, the Hardhats took its first lead of the game with four more runs in the top of the sixth. Post 22 evened up the score at four runs apiece on Riley McSherry and Justin Kraemer RBI singles to kick off the inning. A short time later, Matt Vickers knocked in a pair of runs on a single to right field.
West battled back with a pair of runs in the sixth, but the Hardhats put the game away in the ninth as Vickers scored on a Zach Solano sacrifice fly.
Vickers led the Hardhats with three hits and two RBIs while Kraemer had three hits and one RBI.
The second game was much different right out of the gates, as the Hardhats had a hard time getting its offense going.
West scored its first two runs in the second inning as Charley Illg scored on a Kyle Gulbrandson ground out and a Chandler Austin knocked in an RBI single.
Although the Hardhats led with six total hits, they were unable to capitalize on their offensive opportunities before West added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Cooper Bowman led Post 22 offensively with two hits.
The Hardhats finish the regular season at 41-11 and will host Pierre in the first round of the South Dakota Region 3A baseball tournament on Wednesday at 10 a.m.