The Milbank Firechiefs and the Lennox Only One Alpacas kicked off South Dakota’s 2023 Amateur State B Tournament in the first game at Cadwell Park in Mitchell on Wednesday, August 2. The Alpacas clipped the Firechiefs 12-3 to advance to the second round. The loss ended the Firechiefs’ season.
Milbank hit pay dirt first in the top of the second. Mitch Quade doubled to straight away center on the first pitch he saw in the tournament. He moved to second on a passed ball. Dom Boerger grounded out to the Lennox second baseman, but it was deep enough to score Quade from third. The Firechiefs took the lead 1-0.
Milbank added another run in the top of the third. Taylor Boerger hit a one-out single, and Kaden Krause followed with a walk. Kellen Hoeke dropped a single into left field to drive both runners home and move the score to 3-0. Lennox scored one run in the bottom of the fourth, but they did the most damage in the bottom of the fifth. In the fifth frame, the Alpacas put up eight hits and spat out 11 runs to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 12-3 lead. The Firechiefs could not find a way to recover and took the loss.
Milbank recorded six hits –two from Quade, two from T. Boerger, and one each from Hoeke and D. Boerger.
D. Boerger took the loss for Milbank. He started strong by striking out six Alpacas in the first three innings. He finished his 4 1/2 innings with seven strikeouts and gave up eight hits, seven runs, and two walks.
JD Kirchner earned the win for the Alpacas. He hurled 6 1/3 innings in relief. He gave up three hits and two walks and struck out nine. Brock Anderson went 2 2/3 innings to start. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out five. The Firechiefs appearance at the state tournament was the culmination of a winning season in which they compiled a 12-10 record. The state B tournament continues until August 13, when the champion will be crowned in Mitchell.