BROOKINGS – The showdown between the Bombers Black and Sioux Falls East turned out to be the highlight of Day 1 of the Class A 14U State Baseball Tournament at Bob Shelden Field on Wednesday.
Brookings rallied to down East, 6-5, in the only competitive contest of the first day as Sioux Falls West beat Mitchell, 9-2, in the opener; Renner rolled Pierre, 15-3; and Watertown shut out Brandon Valley, 10-0.
Mitchell and Brandon Valley opened loser bracket play at 10 a.m. today, while Pierre and Sioux Falls East squared off at 1 p.m. West and Watertown tangle at 4 p.m. and the Bombers and Renner face off at 7 p.m. in winners’ bracket games.
• Brookings 6, S.F. East 5
Despite drawing first blood with a run in the bottom of the first, Black had to rally from a 5-2 deficit to pull out the win as they scored three times in the fifth to tie the game and put it away with a tally in the sixth.
“It was a few more runs than expected – we really just gave them quite a few runs – we played poor defense, and then, they gave us a couple, too,” said Black coach Jacob Meyer. “I really thought it was going to be a low-scoring affair, but neither team really didn’t do their jobs on defense.
“If you want to go all the way, you have to win that first night, so this is a huge win – if you lose that first night, you have to win five straight.”
With one out in the bottom of the first, Cole Mahlum singled, and then moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt. Jamison Honkomp then doubled to left field to give Brookings the early lead.
East took advantage of two walks and four Brookings errors to plate two runs in the top of the third.
The Bombers got one run back in the bottom of the frame on four straight base hits by Mahlum, Max Kjelden, Honkomp and Max Struck to tie the game at 2-2 through three.
In the top of the fifth, a two-out error not only prolonged the inning and allowed East’s Braiden Heiden to score on the play; it gave Bronson Moet a chance to hit a two-run home run over the leftfield fence to make it 5-2.
Black came right back in the bottom of the frame to plate three runs of their own as Jackson Krogman and Mahlum hit back-to-back singles, and then scored on Kjelden’s triple to right-center field. Struck took one for the team and Mason Bebensee walked to load the bases before Wes Koenig put the ball in play to score Kjelden on a fielder’s choice to tie the game at 5-5.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, a pitch hit Krogman, who promptly stole second base. He went to third on Mahlum’s single up the middle and scored on Kjelden’s ground out to give Black a 6-5 advantage.
East loaded the bases to open the seventh on two base hits and a walk before Bebensee induced a groundball back to mound. Bebensee went to home to force out the lead runner and Mahlum fired to first to nip the batter for the double play. An intentional walk reloaded the bases before Bebensee struck out the final batter to clinch the win.
Bebensee didn’t allow a run over the final 1 2/3 innings as he gave up two hits; walked two batters and struck out one.
Krogman tossed 5 1/3 but didn’t factor in the decision after allowing five runs – all unearned – on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
Carson Strom was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs – five earned – in 5 1/3 frames. He allowed 10 hits and walked one with four strikeouts. Aidan Beck threw 2/3 of an inning and struck out one.
BROOKINGS 6, S.F. EAST 5
S.F. East 002 030 0 – 5 6 2
Brookings 101 031 x – 6 10 6
Carson Strom, Aidan Beck (6) and Bronson Moet; Jackson Krogman, Mason Bebensee (6) and Cole Mahlum. W – Bebensee. L – Strom. 2B: B, Jamison Honkomp. 3B: B, Max Kjelden. HR: SFE, Bronson Moet.
• Renner 15, Pierre 3
Pierre took advantage of a two-out error after Elliot Lief singled and Bennett Dean doubled to score a pair of runs in the top of the first, but from there, it was all Renner as the home team pounded out 15 hits on the way to the five-inning win.
Renner scored seven runs in both the first and fourth frames as Ethan Fredrickson picked up the complete-game win after allowing just one earned run on six hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Aspen Dahl and Dalton Garbers each drove in three runs on two hits apiece as Andy Moen doubled and tripled for a pair of RBIs. Teegen Schlimgen also connected on a triple to drive in a run while Zach Ridl went 3-for-3 at the dish with an RBI.
Luke Leingang gave up five runs on four hits and a walk in a third of an inning to suffer the loss. Andy Gordon allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts over three full innings as Trey Frost gave up four runs on four hits and a free pass in 2/3 of an inning of work.
RENNER 15, PIERRE 3
Pierre 200 10 – 3 6 1
Renner 710 7x – 15 15 1
Luke Leingang, Andy Gordon (1), Trey Frost (4) and Elliot Leif; Ethan Fredrickson and Teegan Schlimgen. W – Fredrickson. L – Leingang. 2B: P, Bennett Dean, Aaron Booth; R, Andy Moen. 3B: R, Andy Moen, Teegan Schlimgen.
• Watertown 10, Brandon Valley 0
Watertown built a five-run lead through three innings and then finished off Brandon Valley with a five-run fourth to end the game early.
Zach Hirsch allowed four hits and a walk with two strikeouts to earn the shutout win as Braxton Lacher went 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead a 10-hit attack.
Mason Evens had a pair of hits while Kale Stevenson and Lexan Thorson each drove in two runs. Mason Lloyd doubled and drove in a run.
WATERTOWN 10, BRANDON VALLEY 0
Brandon Valley 000 00 – 0 4 4
Watertown 131 5x – 10 10 0
Noah Bertsch, Caleb Zarr (4) and Dawson Skorczewski; Zach Hirsch and Mason Evens. W – Hirsch. L – Bertsch. 2B: W, Mason Lloyd.
• S.F. West 9, Mitchell 2
Mitchell scored its only two runs in the top of the first as West pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of three Mitchell errors to claim the win.
West took the lead with a four-run first and added a run in the third before putting the game out of reach with a three-run fourth. The home team on the scoreboard put up an insurance tally in the sixth.
Dylan Ades went 3-for-4, which included a double, for West and scored three runs as Gabe Stahl doubled and drove in two runs. Graham Sanders and Jacob Ebeling also drove in a pair of runs while Matt Peters and Ethan Behrend each had two hits and an RBI.
Mitch Willis earned the win despite giving up both runs as he allowed three hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts in three innings.
S.F. WEST 9, MITCHELL 2
Mitchell 200 000 0 – 2 4 3
S.F. West 401 301 x – 9 10 1
Evan Demaranville, Ethan Price (1), Tate Ellwein (3) and Nick Lord; Mitch Willis, Mitch W (4), Jacob Ebeling (7) and Ethan Behrend. W – Willis. L – Demaranville. 2B: SFW, Dylan Ades, Matt Winterton, Gabe Stahl.