Experience and belief pave way for Renner’s Legion State Championship


BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — Renner won the Class A Legion State Baseball Championship last night after rallying from 3 down to knock off Sioux Falls East in extra inning, claiming their second title in 3 years. Now the Royals will set their sights on next week’s Central Plains Regional.

Renner entered a loaded Class ‘A’ State tournament as the four-seed. The Royals would lean on experience to help guide them to the state championship.

“Loaded with seniors. 14 kids on our roster, 12 of them are seniors, and 1 super senior. So this means everything to them,” Head Coach Michael Greco said.

The Royals didn’t drop a game in the double-elimination tournament, going a perfect 5-0 en route to the title. But the road to the championship wasn’t easy. Three of Renner’s 5 wins came by 1 run margins, and another by 2 runs.

“Like hard nosed. We just don’t go down. We grit out singles. We do what we can to win. We’re scrappy and we got the pitching to do it too,” Austin Henry said.

Belief in each other is a common theme among this Renner team, and never was that more present than their final two games of the tournament. Renner came back from 5 down and 3 down in those contests.

“So much momentum. Our team lives on energy and belief, and this is going to propel us. We’re going to be on a high and hopefully we just ride that high,” Greco said.

They’ll need that energy and belief next week as they get ready to compete in the Central Plains Regional in Sioux Falls.

“I think it just starts with confidence you know. We knew we could win this. We played even though we were behind. So next week in the super regionals, we’re going to play with that same mentality that the game’s not over until it’s over, and we’re going to come out and compete just like we did here,” Sam Stukel said.

They’ll look to take this magical season one step further next week, with a potential trip to the Legion World Series.

“We can be in the running for it for sure. We got the guys without a doubt,” Henry said.

The Central Plains regional will be held at The Birdcage in Sioux Falls with games set to begin on August 4th. Renner, as the South Dakota State champ, will face the Wisconsin State champ at 4:30 p.m. Sioux Falls East will also be competing as they are the region host.

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