SPEARFISH | Sports teams hope to be playing their best when post-season tournament time arrives.
Based on last week's performance, the Spearfish American Legion baseball team appears headed in the right direction.
Post 164 swept a doubleheader from Westco of Scottsbluff, Neb., last Thursday. After a 5-2 victory in the opener, Spearfish rallied for a come-from-behind win with the tying and game-deciding runs in bottom of the seventh inning for the 6-5 triumph in the nightcap.
"It was the best doubleheader we put together all season," said Spearfish manager Zane Roduner. "We didn't have one error in two games."
With the twin-bill wins, Post 164 evened its overall season record at 14-14, heading into action this week.
"Our overall season has been a little inconsistent," said Roduner.
"Pitching has been one of our strong points. It has kept us in a lot of games. Our main goal is to challenge our opponents," he said.
"Drew Gusso and Zach Kozel are consistent in their outings," he said.
Roduner said Post 164's defense has been hit and miss, although Gusso, Taylor Janovy and Taylor Woods have been strong with the glove.
"We've been fairly consistent in hitting. Janovy provides a lot of speed at the top of the lineup. The bottom of the lineup helped us in the first game against Scottsbluff.
"It was a very good night for our seniors," said Roduner referring to Parker Louks, Janovy, Woods, Kozel, and Zac Zwaschka.
Those five have been playing baseball since a young age. Louks, a catcher/pitcher/third baseman, is competing in his fifth season on the varsity team.
"Baseball is the favorite sport for my dad and brother," said Parker. "You learn a lot of life lessons from baseball."
"It's my last year," Parker added. "My role is a leader, showing the young kids how to play the game right."
Woods, a centerfielder/pitcher, brings four years of experience to the roster.
"I like the family environment," said Woods. "We all try to pick each other up. I like to be the most energetic player on the team."
Janovy, second baseman/shortstop/pitcher, is also in his fourth season and brings speed to the lineup.
"I like the unpredictability of the game," Janovy said. "I'm the leadoff hitter and try to set the tone of the game."
Kozel, outfielder/pitcher, is also a fourth-year veteran with the program and a mound ace.
"I like that every day in baseball is a new game," said Kozel. "You can go 0-for-4 at the plate, and then go 4-for-4.
Zwaschka, third baseman/pitcher, is playing in his fourth season after sitting out last year.
"I was happy to rejoin the team. My role is primarily as a relief pitcher," he said.
Spearfish hosts the Region B tournament at Black Hills Energy Field July 20-22.
The players are looking forward to having home field advantage for the first step in the tournament process.
"It will be nice to fill the stadium with friends and family." "It's always great to play at home," said Janovy.
"Staying at home should be fun," added Woods.
"It's a lot of fun to host the Region tournament," said Looks. "It's nice to be able to go home and sleep in your own bed."
Spearfish finished second in the State B tournament last year. This year's B tournament is in Redfield On July 27-31.