MITCHELL — In what was a showdown of pitching and fielding at Cadwell Park in the first game Monday night in the South Dakota State Class B Amateur Baseball Tournament, the Garretson BlueJays edged the Menno Mad Frogs 2-1.
The first inning ended with a shutout for both teams with just 27 pitches thrown in total. The pitching showdown did not just stop in the first inning for either team. Derek Fischer pitching for Garretson was on his way to a perfect game up until the top of the fourth inning with Dylan Lehr hitting a base hit to centerfield, ending the inning with just 50 pitches thrown from Fischer up to this point.
Doug Hall for Menno also kept his pitching game strong by having only 43 pitches at the end of the fourth. Tyler Edler hit a RBI to leftfield to send Dylan Lehr home off an error by Dustin Steckler, to give the Mad Frogs a 1-0 lead.
Menno got off to a shaky start in the fifth with a three and out, but Garretson matched frame for frame.
With just a little over an hour into the game in the bottom of the sixth inning Garretson fired up its team with a solo homerun hit by Nick Bruning to tie the game up at 1-1. Doug Hall struggled a little in the inning with only 82 pitches total in the game at this point, but 23 coming from the sixth inning as well as allowing two hits and one run.
In the seventh, both teams tallied up one hit, one error, and one run to this point. Brad Ulmer then broke the silence by sending fellow teammate Austin VanHove home to go up 2-1 to end the inning.
Just 90 minutes in the eighth inning took action, and did not slow down pace. A three and out for Menno happening in the top, and Hall threw four pitches for three outs to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth Jesse Brockhouse attempted to keep the season alive for the Mad Frogs by hitting a long drive base hit to centerfield, but was counteracted with a strikeout by fellow teammate Tyler Edler, a pickup player from Lesterville.
“We played really good defense, making it a lot easier to throw strikes,” Fischer said.
Leading into the next game Fischer said, “We are going to have to swing the bat a little better.”
When asked what his team’s motivation is leading into the rest of the tournament Fischer said, “In 2016 we lost in the championship, in 2017 and last year we lost in the semifinal round, so if that does not motivate you enough I don’t know what will.”
Menno’s loss ended the South Central League’s stay at the Class B tournament — Yankton remains alive in the Class A tournament.
Garretson will move on to play the winner of Clark and Northville on Friday at 5 p.m.