Bandits open region tourney with victory

Roger Merriam/Watertown Public Opinion: Above, Brookings starting pitcher Jacob Schoon fires to the plate during the Bandits’ 9-6 win over host Post 17 in the first round of the Region 1A Legion Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Watertown Stadium. He threw five-plus innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. Below, right fielder Rhett Zelinsky tracks a fly ball toward the line.

WATERTOWN – Jacob Schoon threw five-plus innings of one-hit ball and scored a pair of runs as the Bandits opened the Region 1A Legion Baseball Tournament with a 9-6 defeat of host Post 17 on a steamy Friday afternoon at Watertown Stadium.

Post 74 is one win away from a state tourney berth. 

Schoon allowed three runs – two earned – while striking out seven batters and walking five. He went 2-for-4 with a double at the plate.

Rhett Zelinsky, Parker Rykhus and Tanner Shepardson each totaled two hits and a pair of RBIs.

Schoon doubled with one away in the top of the third inning. Cole Mahlum singled and Tyler Kreutner walked to load the bases.

Rykhus came through with a two-run single with two away to get Brookings on the board.

Watertown’s Mason Morris opened the bottom of the third with a walk. Evan Falconer reached on an error with one away. Morris scored on an error to cut the deficit in half.

The Bandits countered with six consecutive runs – two in the fifth and four in the sixth.

In the fifth, Kreutner walked and stole second before sprinting home on Zelinsky’s hit. After Rykhus was hit by a pitch, Shepardson stroked an RBI single with one out.

Schoon led off the sixth with a hit. Mahlum walked and Zelinsky drove in a run with a one-out hit. Rykhus singled to load the bases.

Mahlum scampered home on a wild pitch. Justin Devine’s sacrifice fly to left plated Zelinsky. Shepardson added a run-scoring single to make it 8-1.

Post 17’s Nick Geffre was hit by a pitch and Mason Evans drew a base on balls in the sixth, chasing Schoon. Brandon Florey reached on a fielder’s choice and Morris walked to load them up.

Parker Schmidt hit into a fielder’s choice, which allowed Evans to score. Florey made it home on a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to 8-3.

Brookings added a run in the seventh.

Trevor Berreth, who had the team’s other hit, walked to get the frame underway. After Schoon was hit by a pitch, he scored to put Post 74 on top 9-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, Peyton Johnston reached on an error and Dawson Schmidt singled.

Geffre drove a 2-1 pitch over the fence in left field for a three-run home to pull the home team within 9-6.

Kreutner took over on the mound and got a pair of flyouts – on three pitches – to end it.

Christian Mediger allowed three runs – two earned – on two hits with a strikeout and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Kreutner was credited with the save.

Watertown’s Tucker Bayles surrendered four runs on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings. Cole McElhany gave up four runs on four hits with a strikeout and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Lucas Bierscheid tossed the final 1 1/3, allowing one run with a walk.

Brookings takes on Renner today at 1 p.m.

BROOKINGS 9, WATERTOWN 6

Brookings   002 024 1    9  10  4

Watertown 001 002 3    6    3  1

Jacob Schoon, Christian Mediger (6), Tyler Kreutner (7) and Cole Mahlum; Tucker Bayles, Cole McElhany (6), Lucas Bierscheid (6) and Mason Evans. W – Schoon. L – Bayles. Sv – Kreutner. 2B: B, Schoon. HR: W, Nick Geffre.

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