With their 8-1 come from behind win over Yankton in the South Dakota State “A” Legion Championship game, Rapid City Post 22 not only accomplished winning back-to-back titles, but they will also bring their 39th title back to Rapid City.
After trailing 1-0 through six innings Post 22 turned it on, scoring eight runs in the final three frames. Their ace, Jose Melendez, pitched a complete game giving up just four hits, and he believes the Hardhats won't be satisfied with just back-to-back titles.
"I feel like we are the team that is going to start a run. From now on we are just going to keep on winning championships like we did way back when. We just want to continue our tradition of excellence. Right now it's a little over whelming. I'm sure it will hit me on the bus ride home, but right now I'm just excited and I'll wait to celebrate later," Melendez said.
This is Post 22's 39th state championship, by far the most in South Dakota history. Tournament M.V.P., Matt Minnick, and his boys won't have long to celebrate as they will now represent the Rushmore State at the Regional Tournament in Fargo beginning on Thursday. If they win that they will play in the Legion World Series.
"It's great knowing that. I'll have memories from this season for the rest of my life. Winning state this year and last year we are going to look back and know that this was a huge deal. It took everyone's effort. I want to go farther, I want to remember Regional Championships, and I want to win the World Series," Matt Minnick said.
Post 22 has nine players with collegiate commitments on this year’s roster.