The American Legion AA Mid-States regional was concluded on Sunday after a weekend where the opening round of games on Thursday was delayed by weather and Friday was washed out completely
The American Legion AA Mid-States regional was concluded on Sunday after a weekend where the opening round of games on Thursday was delayed by weather and Friday was washed out completely.
It was decided by Legion officials, in consultation with coaches, to continue with the same bracket format once play resumed instead of resorting to pool play—but to have 5-inning games on Saturday in order to expedite play.
Seven games were squeezed in on Saturday, then three games were played on Sunday to conclude the event. Only the final game was scheduled as a regulation 7 innings.
La Crescent MN emerged as the tournament title winner after Flandreau SD was disqualified for participating with an illegal roster. According to Bruce Pinkall, Pratt Rec director, Flandreau's team was not the same team that had won the SD state tournament, but rather was kind of an all-star team consisting of several "pick-ups".
Tournament officials agreed with a protest lodged by La Crescent and Flandreau was disqualified. La Crescent defeated Waupun WIS 2-1 in what turned out to be the tournament finals.
The Pratt 86ers were bounced from the double elimination event following their second game. They lost in the opening round to Flandreau in a 14-4 run-rule game, then were eliminated on Saturday morning by dropping a 6-1 contest to Waupun WIS.
The Waupun Warriors jumped on the 86ers for a 4-spot in the first inning.
The 86ers looked as though they might answer in their AB as Dakota Venard cracked a single to lead off. Will Fellhoelter also had a hit in the inning. Chase Hageman collected an RBI with a groundout. Pratt then loaded the bases, but the rally died without further damage.
The Warriors scored 2 more in the 2nd to go up 6-1. The score remained that way until the bottom of the 5th (and final) inning. The 86ers didn't go quietly. Dakota Venard again led off with a hit, this time a double. Jarod Gilmore then took one for the team to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs.
After a tenacious battle with the Waupun pitcher, fouling off several tough pitches, Skylar Dean finally found an offering to his liking and sent a line drive screaming down the 3rd base line. Unfortunately, the Warrior 3rd baseman's glove got in the way. He put the squeeze on it, then doubled Venard off 2nd base who had assumed (along with the crowd) that Dean's hit was going to find the left field corner. That took the wind out of the 86ers sails and Waupun retired the next 86er to eliminate Pratt.
Waupun then went on to top Grafton ND 4-3, coming from behind in the last inning to get to the finals of the elimination bracket. Waupun took 2nd place in the tournament, losing to La Crescent on Sunday morning.
The final game of the tournament was actually an exhibition affair, with the teams from Flandreau and La Crescent both wanting to play even though the game didn't count, since Flandreau had been DQd. The game was webcast by KMMM and Kiowa Media. Flandreau again topped LaCrescent 8-0.