Bandits beat Watertown to lock up state tournament berth

ABERDEEN – The Bandits needed a win on Wednesday to qualify for the Class A State American Legion Tournament and they got it with a 6-1 victory over Watertown in the evening elimination game of the North Region Tournament at Fossum Field.

Brookings fell 6-5 to Renner earlier in the day in the undefeated game.

The Bandits get a rematch with Post 307 in the North Region championship game at 1 p.m. today. If Brookings wins, a second title game will be played at 3:30 p.m.

• Brookings 6, Watertown 1

The Bandits took advantage of a hit batter, a walk, a wild pitch and an error to plate two runs in the top of the first inning for the early lead and that would be all that Jacob Schoon needed as he gave up one unearned run in six innings of work to get the win.

Tyler Kreutner was hit by a pitch and then stole second before Schoon drew a base on balls. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch and then advanced another on an error by the catcher as Kreutner scored and Schoon went to third.

Rhett Zelinsky grounded out to the second baseman as Schoon scored for the 2-0 lead.

Post 74 added to its lead with three in the sixth when Justin Devine and Parker Rykhus hit back-to-back doubles with one out. Rykhus advanced to third on a wild pitch before Tanner Shepardson hit an RBI single with two outs.

Preston Helmbolt walked to push Shepardson to second, and then, Kreutner hit an RBI single to plate Shepardson to make it 5-0 through 5 1/2.

Watertown scored its first run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bandits came back to match it in the top of the seventh when Zelinsky and Ammann hit back-to-back singles to open the frame. Devine’s sacrifice fly to center allowed Zelinsky to tag up and advance to third before Rykhus hit his second double of the game, plating Zelinsky for the 6-1 lead.

Schoon allowed six hits and walked five in six before Kreutner gave up a hit and struck out one in an inning of relief.


Brookings  200 003 1    6  8  1

Watertown 000 001 0    1  7  2

Jacob Schoon, Tyler Kreutner (7) and Justin Devine; Bailey Neuhauser, Nathan Gonnelly (6) and Ben DeVille. W – Schoon. L – Neuhauser. 2B: B, Justin Devine, Parker Rykhus (2); W, Blake Holden.

 Renner 6, Brookings 5

Post 74 jumped out to the early lead – scoring single runs in both the first and second innings before Renner tied the game with two in the bottom of the second.

Kreutner led off with a triple and scored on Schoon’s single for a 1-0 lead after one.

Devine hit a one-out double in the second; moved to third on Ryan McMacken’s ground out and scored on Shepardson’s single to center to make it 2-0 through 1 1/2.

Renner used a hit batter and two straight hits to plate two runs to tie it up at 2-2 heading into the third.

In the fourth, a one-out walk, three singles and a two-out, two-RBI triple pushed four more runs across for Post 307 to make it 6-2.

Brookings came back with a pair of runs in the fifth as Shepardson walked to lead off the frame; moved to second on Kreutner’s one-out single; and advanced to third when Schoon drew a base on balls to load the bases. Zelinsky’s grounder to second was misplayed, allowing both Shepardson and Kreutner to score to make it 6-4.

Helmbolt doubled to lead off the seventh and then, Kreutner took one for the team on a 2-0 count. Schoon’s sacrifice moved both runners up a base before Zelinsky grounded out to second to plate Helmbolt and advance Kreutner to third, but that was as close as the Bandits could get in the 6-5 loss.

Zelinsky suffered the loss after giving up six earned runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts.


Brookings 110 020 1    5  8  0

Renner     020 400 x    6  7  1

Rhett Zelinsky and Justin Devine; Reece Arbogast, Kobe Lien (6) and Peyton Garbers. W – Arbogast. L – Zelinsky. 2B: B, Justin Devine, Preston Helmbolt. 3B: R, Nick Hoekstra.

John Davis/American News photo: Brookings’ Tanner Shepardson (6) celebrates scoring a run with Rhett Zelinsky (23) and other teammates during Wednesday’s American Legion Region 1A Tournament game against Watertown at Fossum Field.

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