Unbeaten Royals ready for postseason
WINNER — In a short regular season, the Winner/Colome prep baseball team hasn't been beaten.
As the postseason begins, the Royals are hoping to keep it that way. Winner/Colome (10-0) will take on fourth-seeded Chamberlain/Kimball/Lyman on Tuesday in Winner. With a win, the Royals will be the top seed and host the Region 4B tournament on May 21. From that four-team tournament, the top two teams will advance to the state tournament.
"We are getting really good production out of our whole lineup one through nine," Winner/Colome head coach Drew Weber said. "We are getting some timely hits and that's key especially in the postseason."
The Royals are batting .314 as a team with an average of 8.5 hits and 6.9 walks per game. Carter Brickman, Riley Calhoon, Jackson Kinzer, Nick Lantz and Ty Bolton each have double digit hits the season, while Calhoon, Kinzer and Lantz each have 11 RBIs.
On the mound, Winner/Colome has a team ERA of 1.80. Kinzer leads the team in strikeouts (30) and innings pitched (21), while Brickman has 21 strikeouts and Bolton has 20 strikeouts. The trio has combined for nine wins.
"Our starting pitching is throwing as well as we have in the past," Weber said. "We are pretty balanced all the way through but we know we'll have to keep up the timely hitting and keep making plays in the field."
Weber said the Royals defense has had some issues late in games and he noted the team will need a complete defensive performance in the playoffs. One advantage Winner/Colome has is a plethora of experience. A majority of the team has been starting for three or four years and were members of the team's 2016 Class B state championship.
"That's a huge benefit for us," Weber said. "I'm really pleased with the way the team has gelled together and they feel comfortable heading into the postseason."
Challenging Winner/Colome for a state tournament spot will likely be St. Thomas More and Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian/White Lake/Corsica-Stickney. The Honkers (8-2), who won the region last year, host Gregory County in a playoff game at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Platte.
Bon Homme/Scotland, Parkston vying for tourney spot out of Region 1B
In Region 1B, Dakota Valley is also unbeaten team in Class B and the Panthers will host the region tournament with a win over Elk Point-Jefferson today. Bon Homme/Scotland (8-2) and Parkston (7-3) will host Region 1B West Division games this week against Wagner/Avon and Turner/Hutchinson, respectively. With wins, both Bon Homme/Scotland and Parkston will battle for state tournaments at the Region 1B tournament.
Bon Homme/Scotland is on a five-game winning streak after losing to Parkston 4-3 on April 30 and the pitching staff has a team ERA of 1.36. On offense, Beau Rothschadl leads the team with 10 RBIs, while Christian uecker has scored a team-high nine runs.
Parkston averages six runs per game, led by Dawson Semmler, who is batting .333 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and team-high 11 runs scored. Nate Doering and Sutton Hohn lead the team in innings pitched with Doering recording 19 strikeouts. Brady Albrecht has 15 strikeouts in nine innings pitched.
Blackhawks near the top in Region 2B
Dell Rapids/St. Mary will host the Region 2B tournament, but Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Sanborn Central claimed the top spot in the North Division with a record of 6-1. The Blackhawks have a team ERA of 1.90 led by Noah Hainy, Trent Kingsbury and Trever Schmidt. Hainy and Kingsbury each had 19 strikeouts on the season and have combined for five wins.
Offensively, Kingsbury leads the team with 12 runs scored, while John Witte has scored 11 runs. Gunnar Brandenburg has driven in 16 runs and leads the team with 10 hits. WS/W/SC awaits the winner of Oldham-Ramona/Rutland and Wolsey-Wessington.
Howard (5-5) will play at Madison for a spot into the Region 2B tournament. Madison defeated Howard 4-2 on Sunday in the final regular season game.
Burros, Ducks look to stay alive in Region 3B
McCook Central/Montrose and Hanson/Bridgewater-Emery/Mount Vernon/Plankinton will be playing in elimination games today in the Region 3B West Division tournament. MCM (3-7) will take on Tri-Valley (1-11) today in Humboldt with the winner facing top-seeded West Central.
The Ducks (3-6) will play at Baltic (8-2) today for a spot in the Region 3B tournament, which will likely be hosted by top-seeded Lennox (10-0), who awaits the winner of Canton and Tea Area.