The Milbank 14U Junior Teeners traveled south to Elk Point for the 2023 VFW 14U State Tournament last weekend, July 21-23. Milbank went into the tourney as Region 3A champions. They clinched the title this year for the first time since 2015. It was also the first time Milbank punched their ticket to the state tournament since they hosted in 2017.
In the first round, Milbank took on Tea Area. Both teams remained scoreless through three innings. Tea Area pulled ahead late in the game to defeat Milbank 6-0. Keaton Johnson and Lance Engebretson each put up a hit for Milbank.
Check out our photo gallery of game one with Tea
In game two, and with their season on the line, Milbank faced Vermillion. Johnson led off for Milbank with a single to centerfield and then stole second base. Jaxson Wiese smacked a line-drive single to left to send Johnson home and put Milbank on the board. Mack Koplin added an opposite-field single to score Wiese and add to Milbank’s lead at 2-0.
Milbank kept their momentum going. With two outs, Jeter Scoular singled. Johnson doubled to the right center gap to move him to third. Wiese made it 4-0 when he doubled down the third baseline to score both Scoular and Johnson.
Koplin started the top of the sixth with a triple to left field. Vermillion’s pitcher threw a wild pitch and Koplin grabbed the opportunity to advance home. Milbank had built a 5-1 lead after five and a half innings, but they couldn’t hold on. Vermillion pushed back in the bottom of the seventh to score five runs and rob Milbank of the win at 6-5.
Johnson, Wiese, and Koplin each added two hits in Milbank’s consolation game. Scoular also contributed a hit.
Coach Brady Femling commented, “It was the end of the season, but it was great to finish as one of the last eight teams playing in the state.
Check out our photo gallery of game two with Vermillion.