‘Chutes win Junior Legion state title

Courtesy photo: Brookings won the Class A State Junior Legion Baseball Tournament title. Team members are (from left): Front row – Nolan Miles, Austin Clark, Trenton Pederson, Breck Hirrschoff, Matt Nordmeyer and Nathan Lease; Back row – Coach Alec Johnson, Isaac Schulte, Parker Winghart, Rocklyn Dauphinais, Zach Struck, Carter Wright, Owen Schneider, Justin Cofell, Andrew Bishop and Coach Jameson Meyer. The ‘Chutes (32-11) beat Sioux Falls East 8-5 and 3-2 on Monday to clinch the championship, as they won five of their six games in the tourney. Lease was named Tournament MVP.

PIERRE – Champs!

Brookings beat Sioux Falls East twice Monday at Hyde Field to take the Class A State Junior Legion Baseball Tournament title.

The ‘Chutes won the first game 8-5 to force the “if necessary” contest and then prevailed by a 3-2 margin in the final.

Post 74 finished the season with a 32-11 record, including a 5-1 mark in the tourney. Entering Monday’s action they were 0-3 – getting outscored a combined 22-9 – versus Post 15 this year, including an 11-5 loss in winner’s bracket action Saturday.

East ended up with a 37-11 mark.

Game 2

 Brookings 3, Sioux Falls East 2

Austin Clark pitched a gem and three different ‘Chutes drove in a run to lift Brookings to the championship.

Clark went all seven innings, surrendering just one earned run. He allowed six hits, struck out a pair and walked one. Clark threw 80 pitches, inducing nine groundouts and eight flyouts.

Zach Struck was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the second. Nolan Miles walked and Andrew Bishop reached on a walk to load the bases.

Following a fielder’s choice – Struck was thrown out at home – Owen Schneider was beaned to force in Miles and open the scoring.

East scored both its runs in the top of the fourth. Lincoln Vasgaard doubled and Sawyer Tolk singled.

Vasgaard scampered home on an error, which allowed Tolk to advance to third. The latter scored on Sawyer Mindt’s sacrifice fly.

Post 74 answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Clark singled and Schneider walked.

Justin Cofell, who ended up 2-for-4, and Breck Hirrschoff logged back-to-back RBI singles to put the ‘Chutes on top for good.

Nathan Lease was 2-for-4 with a double. Struck and Nolan Miles singled.

For Post 15, Vasgaard was 3-for-3.

Tolk took the loss after giving up three runs – two earned – on seven hits and a pair of walks. Vasgaard tossed 1 2/3 innings of one-hit ball after that, striking out four and walking two.


S.F. East   000 200 0    2  6  3

Brookings 010 200 x    3  8  2

Game 1

 Brookings 8, Sioux Falls East 5

Nathan Lease tossed a complete game and the ‘Chutes scored four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to secure the victory.

Lease allowed five runs – three earned – on 10 hits with five strikeouts and a walk. He was 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate.

Post 15 opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third.

Justin Cofell walked to lead off the top of the fourth and Breck Hirrschoff singled. Lease hit into a fielder’s choice.

Parker Winghart came through with an RBI single to knot the score at 1-all. Zach Struck was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Nolan Miles stroked a two-run single, making it 3-1. The runners advanced on an error, before Andrew Bishop drove in Struck with a groundout as Post 74 moved ahead 4-1.

Sioux Falls East scored twice in the bottom of the fourth frame to cut the deficit to 4-3.

In the fifth, Cofell again started the rally, getting beaned with one away. Hirrschoff walked.

Lease tallied an RBI single.

Winghart, who ended up 2-for-4, notched his second RBI with a single to make it 6-3.

Struck plated Lease with a sacrifice fly. Winghart then stole second and sprinted home on an error on Miles’ batted ball, leaving the score at 8-3.

East scored twice in the seventh to provide for the final margin.

Bishop logged Brookings’ other hit.

Post 15’s Jack Smith allowed eight runs – six earned – on five hits and four walks with three Ks over 4 1/3 innings in the loss. He went 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI at the dish.


Brookings 000 440 0    8    7  2

S.F. East   001 200 2    5  10  3



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