FLANDREAU – Volga won thE championship title at the South Dakota A 14U VFW Baseball Tournament held at Cardinal Field and hosted by the Flandreau Baseball Association this past weekend over West Central.
Teams attending were from Madison, Volga, Spearfish, Wagner, West Central Dakota Valley and Vermillion. Flandreau 14U was automatically entered in the tournament as the host team and was a combination of the two Flandreau league teams.
The Flandreau team took sixth place in the tournament going 1-2 over the weekend.
Volga won over West Central in the championship game, 9-1 and Vermillion took third over Madison, 6-5.
“Our boys played good in a very tough bracket,” said Coach Mark Hoffman. “There were very strong teams in Flandreau this weekend. It was a great weekend of baseball. We had a great crowd at all of our games. Our community supported us the entire weekend.”
Flandreau opened the tournament shut out by a hot Vermillion pitcher, 10-0. Sam Gassman and Tanner Christenson got the lone hits for Flandreau.
Kelly Lewis took the loss allowing five runs on four hits while striking out five. Vermillion totaled 10 hits in the game behind their pitcher Willis Robertson. He only walked one batter. Flandreau connected with the ball many times, but failed to find the holes in the field.
“We hit the ball very well in the game. Vermillion has a strong defense. Vermillion’s pitcher kept our hitters off balance and we couldn’t get anything going on him.” Vermillion moved on to place 3rd in the tournament.
In game two, Flandreau closed the game in dramatic fashion on a walk-off single by Logan Voelker to defeat Spearfish, 12-11.
Sam Gassman earned the win coming in relief for starting pitcher Camden Schmidt, who allowed 10 runs and four hits while striking out three. Gassman threw four and one-third innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out five Spearfish batters.
Flandreau had several batters earning hits in the game with Voelker and Ethan Hoffman both earning multiple hits. Gassman had three steals.
“The Spearfish game was an exciting back and forth game. We came out very strong in the first two innings scoring 6. We got in trouble in the third and lost our lead. As the game progressed, we kept after them and had a big 7th inning for the win. It was a great win for our boys”.
Flandreau fell behind early and never recovered in a 14-1 loss to Wagner in the consolation game.
Damon Bruguier took the loss for Flandreau throwing only one and two-thirds inning allowing eight runs on four hits. Christenson came in relief the rest of the way giving up the final six hits and six runs.
In the batter’s box, Tristan Peters, Christenson and Voelker each had a hit.
Although the team didn’t place as high as they would have liked, coaches saw some good from their players in the tourney.
“Any time you bring two teams together, it’s an adjustment period for the players and coaches,” said Hoffman. “Our team is very young (most are 13 years old) in comparison to other teams in the tourney,” he said, adding that “they played well adjusting to the bigger field this season. We have a lot of baseball talent in this group and I am excited to see them play next season”
Tournament directors were Chris Wiese and Mike Witte, who along with many more volunteers and baseball association board members, spent many hours running the tournament.