Tourney time for amateur baseball

It’s that time of year for South Dakota’s ‘Boys of Summer’, as the amateur baseball state tournament begins this week.
Wessington Springs and Wynot, Neb. (yes, there are teams from other states that play in the South Dakota state tournament) kick off the tourney Wednesday night at the Birdcage.

The Class B portion of the tournament includes 32 teams and is a single elimination format, while Class A consists of eight teams and is double elimination, though once it gets to the championship, it’s winner take all — if one team is undefeated they don’t have to be beaten twice. Maybe not totally fair, but I prefer that to the legion format where there can be two championship games.

Sioux Falls hosts the tourney every three years, Mitchell hosts it the other two, while the ‘A’ bracket opens at a ‘satellite’ venue each year to give Class B a chance to weed some teams out.
This year that first-round site is Rapid City, and I’ll be making the trip out west with my team, the Renner Monarchs, this weekend.
Those that emerge from Rapid with at least one win advance to the second weekend at the Birdcage.

At 21-2 and ranked atop the Class A poll, the Monarchs are the favorites, along with the Sioux Falls Brewers, who fought back from an early loss in districts to Brookings to punch their ticket to state.
I’m not intimately familiar with Class B, but I’d lean towards Dell Rapids PBR, Alexandria, and Parkston as the favorites.

The Monarchs breezed through districts, beating the Sioux Falls Squirrels 16-5 and Brookings 13-3.
For the season, the Monarchs have a team batting average of .342 and a team ERA of 2.94.
During the win over Brookings, the Monarchs were presented with our Sioux Empire League championship, uh, certificate (we went 12-0 in league play), and Juan Thomas was honored as Sioux Empire League MVP. We had a pretty healthy celebration at skipper Kevin Knetsch’s place Saturday night.

imageThe Large Human accepts the MVP at Historic Renner Ballpark

You can read more about Juan and his transition from real-life Bull Durham to Monarchs MVP later this week, in the meantime, here are the full brackets for the tourney(s).

CLASS A

Aug. 9-11 at Rapid City, Aug. 15-18 at Sioux Falls (All times local)

Friday, Aug. 9

GAME 1: Vermillion Red Sox vs. Redfield DQ, 5:30 p.m.

GAME 2: Rapid City Angels vs. Renner, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10

GAME 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m.

GAME 4: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 1:30 p.m.

GAME 5: Castlewood vs. S.F. Saints, 5 p.m.

GAME 6: Sioux Falls Brewers vs. Pierre, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 11

GAME 7: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 11 a.m.

GAME 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 1:30 p.m.


CLASS B

Aug. 7-18 at Sioux Falls Stadium

FIRST ROUND

Wednesday, Aug. 7

Wessington Springs vs. Wynot, 6 p.m.

Akron vs. Plankinton, 8 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 8

Parkston Rock Bass vs. Lesterville, 11 a.m.

Milbank vs. Winner-Colome, 1 p.m.

Dell Rapids PBR vs. Martin, 5:30 p.m.

Salem vs. Clark, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 9

Dimock-Emery vs. Garretson, 11 a.m.

Lennox Reds vs. Colman, 1 p.m.

Chamberlain vs. Groton, 5:30 p.m.

Flandreau vs. Alexandria, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 10

Miller vs. Irene, 11 a.m.

Mount Vernon vs. Larchwood, 1 p.m.

Volga vs. Canova, 5:30 p.m.

Lake Norden vs. Crofton, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 11

Lennox Only One vs. Tabor, 11 a.m.

Parkston Mudcats vs. Britton, 1 p.m.