All Yankton needed was a fresh start.
And to play at home.
Post 12 began that second season — the Region 2A American Legion Baseball Tournament — with a dominant offensive performance.
While snapping a 10-game losing streak heading into the playoffs, Yankton routed Harrisburg 12-4 on Saturday evening at Riverside Field at Bob Tereshinski Stadium.
“It’s absolutely a new season,” Yankton head coach Drew Lawrence said.
“We just knew we needed to get home and get back to playing here and doing what we do.”
What was that?
Everyone in the lineup spraying the ball all over the field.
“After our losing streak, it was good to get back to getting some hits,” Rex Ryken said.
Once again, the story for the Yankton (23-19) offense was depth.
All nine guys in the order had a hit, and Caid Koletzky, Michael Drotzmann and Ryken all had two hits. Koletzky and Ryken also both drove in three runs.
In addition, Yankton scored all 12 runs in its final four times at bat.
“Everyone likes to hit and contribute,” Ryken said. “We love those big innings.
“And when we get going, we really get hot.”
Harrisburg scored the game’s first two runs on a wild pitch in the first inning and starting pitcher Payton Metzger held Yankton hitless in the first time through the order.
Yankton broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with three runs, and then tacked on four runs in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth.
Michael Drotzmann singled twice in the win, while Matthew Mors doubled, and Collin Zahrbock, Bailey Sage, Owen Feser, Miles Carda and Ethan Wishon all singled.
It was more than enough support for Wishon, who pitched five innings.
The victory sends Yankton into a noon game Sunday with Brandon Valley. The winner of that game advances to Monday’s championship round, while the loser will play again Sunday at 5 p.m.
Saturday’s win was especially critical for Yankton, because at the very least Post 12 would finish third in the region tournament — and the third-place finisher would host a wild card game to qualify for the state tournament.
“The worst case scenario is that we get a wild card (game), but these guys want to win this thing bad,” Lawrence said.
“We’ve had big goals all season.”
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