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Parkston Mudcats pitcher Tom Murtha throws a pitch in a Sunshine League game against Dimock/Emery Friday in Parkston. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)
Parkston Mudcats pitcher Tom Murtha throws a pitch in a Sunshine League game against Dimock/Emery Friday in Parkston. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Mudcats continue holiday tradition

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sports Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PARKSTON -- Since 2002, the Parkston Mudcats and the Parkston Rock Bass took the field at The Pond on the Fourth of July holiday in a game that brought the amateur baseball teams in the city together.

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"It was for bragging rights for the year until the next Fourth," Mudcats player Matt Malloy said. "That made it special and also the big crowds. I'm sure the town looked forward to it."

This season, with the Rock Bass team folded, the Mudcats looked for a new opponent to carry on the holiday tradition in Parkston. The Mudcats scheduled Sunshine League rival Dimock/Emery for the game that put two of the leagues best on display in front of a large crowd at Parkston's newly renovated baseball field.

"I think the same people that would have showed up in the past will still come watch, and the people that want to see Dimock/Emery will show up too," Malloy said. "I think it will be a bigger crowd than when we played the Rock Bass."

Mudcats manager Dave Roth said the size of the crowd was nearly the same for the game against the Raptors as what the team saw in its games against the Rock Bass on the Fourth of July. He added that the fans did not seem into it as much as when it was two Parkston teams.

In the past, having two Parkston teams squaring off meant strong crowds for the game and a fireworks show afterwards. The inclusion of the Raptors this year did not hurt the crowd, and despite a few rain drops, fans of both teams showed up to see the No. 1 ranked Mudcats take on No. 4 Dimock/Emery. The Mudcats prevailed 3-2.

The past games against the Rock Bass delivered a chance for the Mudcats to play against players that they grew up around and know.

The Rock Bass folded prior to the start of the 2014 season due to a low number of players.

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