GREGORY, S.D. (KELO) — Eight teams have qualified for the 2022 Legion Baseball Class ‘B’ State Tournament, which begins on Friday, July 29 in Gregory.

District WinnerTeam
Region 1Milbank Post 9
Region 2Dell Rapids Post 65
Region 3Vermillion Post 1
Region 4Platte-Geddes Post 115
Region 5Humboldt/Hartford Post 62/118
Region 6Redfield Post 92
Region 7Winner/Colome Post 169
Host TeamGregory Post 6
State Tournament Teams

The state runner-up is back in the tournament as Redfield claimed the Region 6 championship. They’ll look to better last year’s finish.

The first game of the tournament is set for 10 a.m. on Friday, July 29. There will be four games played that day.

GAME 1: HUMBOLDT/HARTFORD VS. WINNER/COLOME

The first game of the tournament will feature Humboldt/Hartford and Winner/Colome.

Post 118 enters with a 14-11 record. They earned wins over Salem and Lake Norden twice to advance to the state tournament.

Humboldt/Hartford entered the Region 5B tournament with a 10-11 record. However, three straight wins in the tournament helped lift them to a 13-11 record and get them to the state tournament.

Bennett Sebert has been sensational this season as he owns a .404 batting average with 23 hits, 1 homerun and 11 runs batted in. Gavin Koch (.372) and Gage Nelson (.356) also own strong averages.

Derek Renken has been the ace for Post 118. He leads the team in innings pitched at 27, while also having the lowest earned run average at .519. That’s just two earned runs in 27 innings.

Humboldt/Hartford owns a team-earned run average of 2.67, making it tough to score runs against them.

Winner/Colome is 13-6 on the summer, including three wins in the Region 7B tournament. They earned two wins over Gregory County and one over Belle Fourche to advance to the state tournament.

Post 169 has relied on their offense this season, as they’re scoring nearly 6.5 runs per contest this season. They’ve scored more than seven or more runs in seven games this year and they are unbeaten in those contests.

Defensively, Winner/Colome has struggled at times as they are allowing six runs per game.

Offense has been the go-to for Winner/Colome, while defense has been the key for Humboldt/Hartford. That matchup will be fun to watch to start to the tournament.


GAME 2: MILBANK VS. REDFIELD

The second game of the state tournament will feature Milbank and the defending Class ‘B’ runner-up, Redfield.

Milbank owns an 18-7 record this season. They picked up three wins in the Region 1B tournament to advance to the state tournament, including wins over Castlewood, Claremont and Big Stone.

Post 9 has found plenty of success with the bats this season. They are scoring nearly ten runs per game and that offense came to life in the playoffs. In their three tournament wins, Milbank scored 35 runs.

Defensively, Milbank has been strong allowing less than four runs per contest. Post 9 has a strong scoring margin of +5.7 runs per game.

Redfield finished the year with a 20-6 record as Post 92 seeks a chance to better last year’s runner-up finish.

Post 92 cruised past Wessington Springs, Clark/Willow Lake and Groton to win the Region 6B title.

Milbank is scoring 9.7 runs per game, but Redfield’s offense has been even more impressive. They’re putting up 9.9 runs a contest.

The Post 92 defense hasn’t found as much success as they’re allowing more than five runs per game defensively.

Both offenses have shown the ability to knock the baseball around the park, but we’ll see on Friday if that’s the type of contest that we see. It’s not uncommon to see a pitcher’s duel early in the playoffs.


GAME 3: VERMILLION VS. DELL RAPIDS

Another pair of big names are meeting in game three as Dell Rapids will cross paths with Vermillion. Post 65 has won back-to-back state championships in high school baseball, but now they’re in search of a state title in legion baseball.

Vermillion has won seven straight contests as they boast an 18-9 overall record. They earned wins over Beresford/Alester-Hudson, Sioux Falls Christian, Dakota Valley and Elk Point-Jefferson to claim the Region 3B title.

Post 1 has been strong on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball this season.

Offensively, Vermillion is scoring more than seven runs per contest. They’ve been especially hot as of late as they’re scoring 10.3 runs per contest during their seven game win streak.

Post 1 has been strong also defensively as they are allowing just 3 runs per contest. That’s a strong showing, especially in the era of metal bats.

Dell Rapids went 21-10 this season. They had to reach the state tournament the hard way as they were forced to win five games in four days.

The bats were electric for Post 65 as they plated 78 runs in the six games. That’s 13 runs per contest.

Landon Ruesink has led the way offensively as he owns a .438 batting average. Jack Henry sits at .371, while CJ Smith owns a .370 average.

The Post 65 team ERA is a little higher than they would prefer at 4.19, but they’ve found a way to overcome that with some great offense.

Treyse Eastman owns a team low ERA at 2.03, while having pitched 31 innings. Brayden Pankonen has a strong ERA as well at 2.58.

These two teams have some solid bats, which means we could see some offense, but when they met on July 6, the final score was just 1-0.

Dell Rapids would earn the narrow win over Vermillion. Ben Burbach went the distance for Post 1 as he suffered the loss and allowed one earned run on five hits.

Jack Henry got the win. He pitched six innings and allowed zero runs on zero hits, while striking out nine. He also walked five. Brayden Pankonen got the save allowing the lone hit to Vermillion.

So anything is possible when these two teams meet. We could see a lot of offense or we could see a pitcher’s duel. It’ll be fun figuring out which type of game we’ll see on Friday.


GAME 4: PLATTE-GEDDES VS. GREGORY

The fourth and final game of the day one will feature the host team, Gregory and the region 4B champion, Platte-Geddes.

Platte-Geddes finished 13-3 this season as their three lone losses came to Alexandria, Winner/Colome and Tabor. They started the summer by winning their first seven games.

Post 115 has relied on their pitching staff this season. Their rotation of arms owns a 4.49 earned run average. They have six pitchers who have thrown more than ten innings, though their leader is Dawson Hoffman.

Hoffman has thrown 26.2 innings this summer, while striking out 37. His ERA sits at 3.15. Caden Oberbroekling has only thrown 16 innings, but he owns the lowest ERA on the team at 2.19.

Platte-Geddes has scored 135 runs, that’s an average of 5.2 runs per contest. That number isn’t super high compared to some other teams in the state tournament. However, their pitching staff has been the leader this season.

Dakota Munger has led the way with a .394 batting average. Jackson Neuman sits close behind at .378. The team as a whole owns a .307 average.

Despite being in different regions, Gregory is just 40 minutes away from Platte-Geddes, which means the two teams are familiar with each other.

Gregory is 16-4 on the year. They concluded the season by winning 11 of their final 13 games.

Post 6 has a +56 scoring margin. That success stems from what they’ve been able to do offensively. Gregory has scored 184 runs this year, that’s more than nine runs per contest.

Trey Murray has led them this year as he owns an impressive .446 batting average. Gannon Thomas sits just a few points back at .407, followed by Bryce Frank at .397.

Gregory’s pitching staff has been equally impressive as they own a team ERA of 3.99. Frank has led the way with his 1.98 ERA in 40 innings pitched.

Friday’s finale could be fun to watch as both teams have strong pitching staffs. That could lead to a great pitcher’s duel in the first round.


KELOLAND News will have coverage of the tournament in Gregory. You can stay up to date with scores and highlights by visiting the sports page on KELOLAND.com.