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Gang up: Canova hits past Parkston

Parkston's James Boehmer chases down Canova's Tim Gassman for an out during a game in the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Tournament in Sioux Falls. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS—There were no shortage of runs, hits and errors on Thursday at Ronken Field.

The Canova Gang had a bulk of the runs (19) and hits (22), while the Parkston Mudcats committed all the errors (eight).

It added up to a Canova 19-9 win as it reached the semifinals of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament. It marks the first year since 2009 that Canova has advanced to the semifinals. Canova plays Garretson or Milbank at 1 p.m. on Saturday for a spot in the title game.

On Thursday, Canova (19-5) scored at least one run in eight of nine innings and received a hit from 10 different players.

"Twenty-two hits, I wouldn't have dreamt that in a million years—and 19 runs," Canova manager Dave Gassman said. "Things went well for the Gang."

He wasn't kidding. Parkston scored five runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning for a 5-1 lead, including a Spencer Lucas two-run homer. However, the Mudcats didn't score again until the sixth inning.

Canova, meanwhile, piled on the runs and seized control in the fifth inning. Mike Newman hit an RBI single to even it at 5-5, while Justin Miller later padded the margin to 8-5 on a two-run single.

Miller finished 2-for-6 with two runs scored and five RBIs. Garrett Gassman had a 4-for-6 performance and one RBI.

"Hitting is definitely like a bug," Miller said. "Once one guy gets it, it goes onto the next guy and it just builds off each other."

The Gang chased Parkston starter Brady Nolz in the sixth after scoring two more runs to extend it to 11-5. Nolz allowed 14 hits, 11 runs (six earned), one strikeout and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Nolz finished with 118 pitches and ran his three-game tourney total to 417 pitches.

Dave Gassman said the key against Nolz was taking patient approaches at the plate.

"We knew he throws a lot of balls and we told our guys to be patient up there," Gassman said. "We were really patient at the plate. We got good pitches and good at-bats and all the way up and down the lineup. We did a good job of being patient and I think that was the key for us breaking it open eventually."

In the sixth, Parkston hung around and scored four runs with two outs. Dan Bonte smacked a two-out, bases loaded single to make it 11-7. Jeff Harris followed with a two-run double to deep right field and it was 11-9.

In the seventh, the Mudcats had another chance to plate runs with two outs. However, Riley Hoffman grounded out to second base with runners on second and third base to end the threat.

The Gang continued to pour it on in the eighth inning with six more runs and an 18-9 advantage.

Parkston (14-15-1) received three hits from Jake Weber, while Matt Malloy added two hits.

For Canova, Derek Miller earned the victory. He scattered seven hits, gave up eight earned runs and struck out three batters in 5 1/3 innings. Jared Miller, Trey Kreier and Newman each finished with three hits apiece.

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