DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (KELO) — The final regular season high school baseball KELOLAND.com Game of Week returns Tuesday, May 18 with a class ‘B’ contest featuring Dell Rapids against Tea Area.
The two teams sit a top of the region three standings with less than a week remaining in the regular season.
|1||Dell Rapids||7-0||Flandreau & Tea Area|
|2||Tea Area||7-1||Dell Rapids (Tues.)|
|5||Flandreau||3-5||Dell Rapids (Mon.)|
|6||McCook Central||3-5||S.F. Christian (Tues.)|
|7||Garretson||2-6||S.F. Christian (Wed.)|
|10||S.F. Christian||1-6||MCM & S.F. Christian|
Both Dell Rapids and Tea Area have locked themselves in as the one or two seed in the playoffs, but Tuesday’s contest will determine who will claim the region 3, regular season title.
TEA AREA (7-1)
Tea Area owns a 7-1 league record. The Titans suffered their lone loss of the league season to Lennox back on Sunday, April 11, following a walk-off homerun.
Since then, Tea Area has won six straight league wins.
“We’re really pitching the ball and catching the ball extremely well, even better than maybe I had anticipated and with that other pitchers are getting stronger and we have had to depend on that pitching, as strong as it has been,” Tea Area head coach Jeff Portner said. “The hits have been hard to come by and the guys aren’t giving up free bases on the other pitching staff, but we’ve been really pleased with how our entire staff has done.”
The Titans own one of the best records in class ‘B’ baseball and with that, they have checked off a lot of boxes for this season.
“The first goal was to represent our region and get a chance to play in the region tournament, which means we had to be one of the top eight teams. We punched that ticket a while ago,” Portner said. “Our second goal was to host the sub-region tournament and that means we had to be the one or two seed and be able to play in front of our home fans in Tea.”
Tea will have their hands full on Tuesday when they meet Dell Rapids, a team that has yet to lose in region play.
“These guys, one through nine in the lineup can hit the ball. There are some teams out there when you get to the lower part of the order, sometimes as a pitcher, you want to exhale a little bit, but there is just no room that when you get into this level of competition,” Portner said. “Dells proved that when we got a chance to take a look at them. You’ve certainly got to respect the entire lineup.”
DELL RAPIDS (7-0)
The Quarriers hold the regions top record at 7-0 in league play. Dell Rapids is coming off a tough week in which they picked up a pair of wins over Lennox and West Central.
“We played two good teams and anytime you come out of it with a win, you feel pretty good about it,” Dell Rapids head coach Danny Miller said. “You knit picking if you find anything to complain about there, but we’re happy with how we played in both of those games.”
Dell Rapids is undefeated and they are hoping to stay that way and earn the top-seed in the region 3 playoffs.
“We’ve talked about it a little. I mean, obviously, we want to host and be the one seed, but we are trying to take it one game at a time here,” Miller said. “It’s a big way to finish, knowing that if we win it, we get what we want, you know at least as far as having the one seed and hosting.”
If the Quarriers want to finish with a perfect 9-0 league record, they’ll need to pick up a win over Flandreau on Monday and then the second placed Titans on Tuesday.
“I know they (Tea Area) have some guys that can swing it pretty well. We haven’t seen them, but it sounds like they have a couple of pitchers who are pretty effective,” Miller said. “I hope that we’ve seen enough that we can kind of battle a little bit. We’re hoping to throw our best against them if everything works out on Monday.”
Dell Rapids is preparing to face Tea Area, but they are still keeping the focus on themselves.
“We’re a young team, so it’s a lot of our team focusing on our hitting approach, what we want to see at the plate and making sure they are all kind of buying in to what we want to see,” Miller said. “Also playing good ‘D’ which we at times have not done, but we’re getting better.”
Tuesday’s coverage will begin at 5:25 p.m. with first pitch set for 5:30 p.m.
You can stream the action on KELOLAND.com. Play-by-play will be provided by KELOLAND.com’s Grant Sweeter.