Last year Roosevelt Connor Grove took a perfect game into the seventh inning of the State title game. His pursuit of perfection was broken up, but the Riders did claim the Class-A Championship. This year they are leaning on another ace to bring back the crown.
Roosevelt Skipper, Joel Sage, has his Riders primed and ready for another state title run. If they are going to do so they will look to their senior ace, Senior Josh Baumgart. He has posted a 4-0 record, with a .70 ERA, and 47 strikeouts in 30 innings of work.
"He brings competitiveness and a desire to be perfect. He works very hard at his craft, attacks the zone with his fastball, then uses his change-up when he needs to," Roosevelt Manager Joel Sage said.
"Pitching wise I have felt alright, but hitting has been up and down all year with good streaks and bad streaks. Everyone is trying to figure it out before the tournament starts so we're ready to get going," Rough Riders Senior Pitcher Josh Baumgart said.
As a junior he watched his teammate, Connor Grove, come up just shy of throwing a perfect game as he led the Riders past Brandon Valley. Baumgart took a lot from that performance; he now knows that this is his team and his time to shine.
"You always have to go for perfection and he really did well in the State Tournament by almost throwing a perfect game. Even after he lost it he was super confident in everyone around him and he went for the win," Baumgart said.
This past November Baumgart signed to play baseball at the University of Creighton. Although he is focused on capturing another State Title, he is also excited for the challenges ahead.
"I'm just ready to try something new and to see different competition. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out there and how I fair with the competition of the Big East," Baumgart said.
Class-A Regions will take place Saturday at Ronken Field in Sioux Falls. Roosevelt will take on Yankton at Noon, Mitchell and O'Gorman will take the field at 2:30, and the championship will begin at 5:00. The winner will advance to the State Tournament May 24th in Mitchell.