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Ridge Inhofer hits a single off Brandon Valley pitcher Noah Bertsch on Saturday in Spearfish.
Photo by Terry Anderson
Ridge Inhofer hits a single off Brandon Valley pitcher Noah Bertsch on Saturday in Spearfish.

Early Titan Errors Allow Brandon Valley to Outlast Sturgis Post 33


Terry Anderson, KBHB Sports - July 11, 2020

SPEARFISH, S.D. – The Sturgis Post 33 baseball team made some crucial mistakes early and a few late at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish and the Brandon Valley Post 131 Lynx took advantage, grinding out a 12-9 win over the Titans.

Brandon Valley, ranked #1 in the state baseball power rankings, came into the game in Spearfish with a 12-9 record after splitting a doubleheader against Rapid City Post 22 on Friday night at Fitzgerald Stadium, winning game one 12-8, and dropping game two 11-10.

Lynx leadoff hitter Lake Terveer crushed a triple off Titan lefty David Anderson to start things off for Brandon Valley in the top of the first.  Post 33 committed two defensive errors and Brandon Valley led 3-0 after one inning.  Another Sturgis error in the top of the second allowed Lynx designated hitter Tyler Shelske to score and Post 131 took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the second. 

“In the field we had a couple of critical mental lapses,” said Titan head coach Dominic Bradford.  “When you give teams like Brandon Valley extra chances they normally capitalize.”

Post 33 catcher Zack Hess smacked a double off Lynx starting pitcher Trey Sejnoha in the bottom of the second and the next batter, shortstop Gage Murphey, also hit a double to bring Hess across the plate to get the Titans on the board.  Brandon Valley led 4-1 after two full innings.

Sturgis added another run on a sacrifice fly by David Anderson to score Dustin Alan in the bottom of the third, cutting the Brandon Valley lead to 4-2.  Terveer poked a double to left centerfield in the top of the fourth and second baseman Michael Chevalier singled him home to give the Lynx a 5-2 lead after four innings. 

Right hander Colton Cruickshank relieved Anderson in the top of the fifth.  Cruickshank gave up a single and walked a batter to put two on base with two outs.  Post 131 then scored three runs on singles by Matt Brown and Terveer with two outs to take an 8-2 lead into the bottom half of the inning.  Then the Titan bats came to life.

Sturgis second baseman R.J. Andrzejewski walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth and Dustin Alan singled to put runners on first and second.  Titan center fielder Ridge Inhofer then hit a two-RBI single to cut the Lynx lead to 8-4.  Dylan Gillespie and John Fischer both hit singles to load the bases with just one out.  Brandon Valley head coach Jeremy VanHeel could feel the lead slipping away and pulled Sejnoha and replaced him with right hander Noah Bertsch, who only lasted 1/3 of an inning, giving up two more Sturgis runs.  Van Heel brought in right hander Caleb Zerr who closed out the inning with a strike out.  The five Titan runs got them back into the ball game and Post 131 led 8-7.

Cruickshank got two quick outs to start the top of the sixth but five consecutive hits by Lynx batters and fielding mistakes by Sturgis plated four runs to put Brandon Valley up 12-7. 

The Titans put on their rally caps in the bottom of the sixth, needing five runs to tie the game.  Inhofer blasted a double to lead off the bottom half of the inning for Post 33.  Anderson then stepped to the plate and bombed a two-run home run to right center to cut the Lynx lead to 12-9.  That’s as close as the Titans would get as Post 131 relief pitcher Matt Brown came in to replace Zerr and shut down Post 33.  Brandon Valley won 12-9 in seven innings.  The six Titan errors were costly.

“If you take away a couple of those errors, especially with the way our pitchers threw today, we could have had a different outcome,” Bradford said.  “We proved we can play with the best teams in the state and even beat them if we play error free.”

Sejnoha earned the win for the Lynx on the mound with Brown getting the save.  Brandon Valley had 17 hits and left eight on base.  Terveer was a monster at the plate with two singles, two doubles and a triple, going 5 for 5 with one RBI.

Anderson took the loss for Post 33, pitching four innings and giving up five runs on eight hits.  Anderson struck out four and walked two.  Sturgis collected 15 hits and left 10 on base in the ball game.  Hess had two singles, a double and an RBI for the Titans.  Inhofer added two singles, a double and two RBI. 

Post 33, now 18-8 on the season, faces Rapid City Post 22 on Monday at 7pm at Strong Field in Sturgis.  Brandon Valley improved their record to 13-9 and play Rapid City Post 320 in a doubleheader at Pete Lien Field on Sunday.



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