SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Dell Rapids high school baseball team won their first ever high school baseball state title in 2017. Four years later, the Quarriers climbed the ranks again to earn claim the class ‘B’ state championship with a 9-2 win over West Central.
“The whole motto is just do it for the town a little bit and do it for the kids. That was kind of the motivation behind it. Obviously it’s great stories for when we’re back, hanging around each other 40 years from now, but doing it for the town and doing it for these kids is great. It’s a blessing to see all this happen,” Dell Rapids junior Austin Henry said.
Dell Rapids threw just four pitchers in their three wins and those pitchers allowed just six runs on nine hits, while striking out 32 opposing batters.
“Our pitchers, I owe everything to our pitchers. I mean, two runs in the championship game, that doesn’t happen very often and no runs in the game before,” tournament most valuable player Landon Ruesink said. “I don’t know, you can’t ask for anything else.”
“We’ve had good pitching all year and that’s been our strength. We even had some guys in reserve that are good that we still could’ve used,” Dell Rapids head coach Danny Miller said. “Our pitchers are a big reason we are here.”
The Quarriers pounded out 20 runs on 24 hits in the tournament, including a five run, third inning that gave them the lead in the championship game.
“I think we did it with two outs, we did all of it with two outs which is crazy and hitting is contagious like that, you know,” Henry said. “When we get going, there isn’t a lot that can stop us. That’s obviously a result of that right there.”
(Click the video player above to see full highlights from Tuesday’s championship)
“That might be the best we’ve swung it all year, but it was in a big spot and guys came up with some big hits,” Miller said. “They just battled and they were just a hard working crew.”
Dell Rapids’ junior, Landon Ruesink, was named the 2021 class ‘B’ state tournament most valuable player, following his impressive 3-3 state championship performance that included a single, a double, a homerun and four runs batted in.
“Landon’s a dude! Every single sport that he plays, he finds a way to make a huge impact on the game as you can see and man, I’m glad I’m on his team and not playing against him, for sure,” Henry said.
“He caught two games today in the heat and hit a big homerun. He was also our relief in the end, but we didn’t have to get there,” Miller said. “The guy is a grinder, he’s clutch, he makes big plays and he’ll give you everything he’s got every time.”
The path to winning this year’s state championship wasn’t easy for Dell Rapids, but the resiliency of the Quarriers helped lead them to their second state title in four seasons.
“They battle, they battle and you love kids man. You practice with them every day and it’s really special to be given the opportunity to be with these guys day in and day out through the spring or the spring season. It’s unbelievable,” Miller said.
Dell Rapids concluded the 2021 season with a perfect 14-0 league record.