Milbank American Legion Post 9 captured the Region 1B baseball title and punched its ticket to the State Class B tournament, which begins Friday in Webster.
Milbank cruised through the region tournament undefeated this past weekend and finished with a .330 batting average. Jon Ash sparked the locals with two home runs and a .333 batting average. Tanner Gauer finished at .500 with Mitch Quade following at .444. Other averages for the tournament were Dalton Koch, .438; Jacob Jackson and Jake Anderson, .386; Tristan Hall, .313; Brady Krause, .214, and Dominic Boerger, .200.
Boerger led the team on the mound with two wins. Hall and Krause collected one pitching win each for the tournament.
In Milbank’s opening game Thursday, July 14, the locals rolled to a 8-1 victory over Aurora. The teams battled it out in the first two innings and held each other scoreless. Post 9 came roaring back with five runs in the third to make things very challenging for Aurora. Milbank added two more runs in the sixth and one in the eighth to secure the victory.
Gauer led the team with two hits and two runs. Krause and Koch added two hits each while Jackson, Hall, Ash, Brady Gomer and Quade belted out one each. The team collected its eight runs on 11 hits. Boerger was the winning pitcher for Milbank.
Post 9 met Castlewood/Clear Lake Friday and cruised to a 12-1 victory in five innings. The game was cut short because of the 10-run rule.
Ash fired out a home run to spark the locals. Gauer tallied two hits and two runs while Jackson, Hall, Koch and Anderson had one hit apiece. Milbank’s 12 runs came on 7 hits in the contest. Hall secured the win on the mound for Milbank.
In semi-final action Saturday, Milbank downed Big Stone City 6-0. Post 9 used 11 hits to post its six runs. The locals were led by Gauer with three hits and two runs. Koch followed with three hits and one run while Quade added two hits. Jackson, Hall and Anderson rounded out the team with one hit each. Krause earned the win on the mound for Milbank.
Milbank then faced Castlewood/Clear Lake for the second time in the tournament as they met for the championship contest Sunday. Post 9 hit on all cylinders and dominated 11-0 over the opponent in seven innings.
Ash fired out his second home run of the tournament and led the team with three hits and two runs. Gauer was close behind with two hits and two runs, and Jackson and Hall added two hits and one run each. All three players added a double hit to its box score. Krause, Koch, Boerger and Quade rounded out the team’s 13 hits with one apiece. Boerger collected his second pitching win of the tournament.
Milbank will face Winner/Colome in their opening game of the State Class B tournament Friday at 5 p.m. in Webster. See the addition story with the complete tournament breakdown and bracket on The Valley Express.
Milbank 8, Aurora 1 – Game 1
Milbank 8, Castlewood/Clear Lake – Game 2
Milbank 6, Big Stone City 0 – Game 3
Milbank 11, Castlewood/Clear Lake – championship
Pictured batting is Brady Gomer.
Team photo – back row, left to right, head coach Ron Krause, Nolan Foss, Mitch Quade, Jon Ash, Jacob Jackson, Tristan Hall, Tanner Gauer, Brady Gomer, Post 9 representative and assistant coach Matt Stephan. Front row, Dominic Boerger, Dylan Johnson, Riley Van Sambeek, Brady Krause, Jake Anderson, Dalton Koch and Cole Dockter.