MITCHELL, S.D. — Renner entered the region 1A legion baseball tournament with a 28-22 record, but found its groove, winning eight straight games to capture the state championship.
Renner brought its bats to the state “A” tournament. The Royals averaged over six runs per game, and capped their undefeated stay in Mitchell with a 6-4 win over Rapid City Post 22 in Tuesday’s championship game.
“We came in here with one goal and that was to play aggressively and that’s what we did, the whole day. You know we played every single inning, to win the inning, and we won a lot of innings this weekend and when you come out five and oh on this thing, it’s mean you had a really good weekend,” Renner head coach Jack Van Leur said.
Post 307’s Mason Runia was named tournament MVP. Runia logged five innings on the mound and produced two game-winning hits, including a 3-run double in the finals.
“He’s the backbone of this team. He does everything right off the field, he does everything right off the field. He had a little bit of a tough season at the plate, for the most part, but every day he kept coming to work and he kept getting better at his at bats,” Van Leur said.
The win marks the first championship in team history for Renner.
“It’s really a great feeling. Going into the season, you really didn’t think anything of it. We had a solid ball club, but you didn’t think anything of like ‘oh we’re going to make it this far in the state tournament, and then even end up winning it.’ It’s just a really great feeling for Renner fans,” Tournament MVP Mason Runia said.
The Royals now turn their attention to the Central Plains Regional, which will be played in their own backyard.
“Getting to play the Central Plains in Sioux Falls, is going to be another great advantage. I’m so happy for these guys, they deserve it and they’ve worked so hard this year and then they get rewarded by getting to play in their backyard and hopefully we’ll have a lot of people there to support them and just have another great experience there,”
Renner opens the Central Plains Regional against Wisconsin state champion Oshkosk Wednesday, August 7th at Sioux Falls Stadium.