Rapid City Post 22 claimed its 42nd state legion baseball championship with last weekend’s shutout win against Mitchell. This week, the Hardhats are looking to add to their trophy case at the Central Plains Regional.
Post 22 was a perfect 5-0 at last week’s state “A” tournament, improving to 55-10 on the season. After achieving one of their goals with a state title, Hardhats head coach Kelvin Torve says he knew early on what kind of team he had.
“We played well in the Firecracker Tournament in Rapid City, we played great in the Gopher Classic, finished second, and I was thinking this team could be something special. It turns out, we are,” Head Coach Kelvin Torve said.
The results on the field are impressive, but what makes this group standout to Torve isn’t just their physical abilities.
“We got no prima donnas on the team. Everybody cares about each other, picks each other up. You know it’s a cliche but it’s true in the case of this team but we really care about each other and play for each other,” Torve said.
That play for each other mentality shows whether the Hardhats are at the plate, on the mound, or in the field.
“We love cheering for each other. We’re a loud bunch of guys. It’s all toward our team. It’s an amazing feeling to go up there and hit and get that loud cheer, not only from the stands but from our bench as well,” Pitcher Zach Sumption said.
Post 22 and their fans had plenty to cheer about at the state tournament, as they scored 50 combined runs during their run to the title. That success at the plate has Rapid City feeling confident heading into regional play.
“It’s a big confidence boost when anyone can hit. When you have guys one through nine who can swing the bat it just makes your job easier and you don’t have to press,” Shortstop Cooper Bowman said.
The Hardhats hope a trip to regionals isn’t the end of the line.
“Winning state is one thing but going to the World Series, being able to go to North Carolina as a team and going there to compete as one would be an amazing feeling,” Sumption said.