Parkston baseball perfect early
PARKSTON -- The Parkston spring high school baseball team has come out hot in the early going in 2014, establishing itself as one of the teams to beat.
Parkston is 6-0, coming off a 8-2 win over Wagner/Avon/Lake Andes Tuesday in Dimock, where the team is playing its home games this season, while the field in Parkston gets a renovation.
"We knew coming in that we had a good core group of guys and knew if we could put things together we would be one of the top teams and compete for a title," Parkston coach Jeff Harris said.
Harris will take over the coaching duties, which he has shared so far this season with Tim Alley, for the rest of the season. He graduated in 2007 from Parkston High School before playing baseball at the University of Sioux Falls.
Hitting has not been a problem for Parkston through six games this season, with a trio of big bats leading the way.
First baseman Spencer Lucas is batting .444 with two RBIs and three stolen bases, while Dillon Stadlman is hitting .438 with two RBIs and five stolen bases. Ty Kinneberg is hitting .375 and has a team-high six stolen bases.
Leading the team in run production has been Jacob Weber with 10 RBIs, while Zach Scott has six RBIs and is slugging .600.
"Getting guys on base and having guys driving them in has been key," Harris said. "We will be tough to beat when things are clicking like that."
Weber has pitched Parkston to half of the team's wins, amassing a 3-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. He has struck out 19 and walked just four in 14 innings of work. Stadlman is 2-0 on the mound with a 2.25 ERA and nine strikeouts in 12 innings.
Parkston will look to keep its perfect record alive against Vermillion at 2 p.m. Saturday in Dimock.
Hanson County sees improvement
The Hanson County spring baseball team has avoided some of the bad weather in the early season to get 11 games in so far and the young group has already doubled its win total from last year.
"Pitching is where we have got stronger this year compared to last," Hanson manager Bryce Holter said.
The Ducks, who include just two seniors, are 6-5 after winning three games a year ago, with senior Marshall Miller leading the way at the plate and on the mound.
Miller, who plans to play college baseball and is looking at a number schools, has a 1-1 record with one save as a pitcher this season for Hanson. He has a 1.85 ERA with 18 strikeouts and eight walks in 21 and ⅔ innings. Miller is also batting .345 with six runs scored and is tied for the team lead with seven RBIs.
"Marshall has been our leader," Holter said. "He does a lot of things for our team including fundraising and helping organize practices. He is just a baseball kid."
Holter said the addition of a trio from Sanborn Central -- Josh Feiner, Trent Kingsbury and Tucker Kingsbury -- to the club this season has brought depth. Feiner is second on the team in innings pitched with 14 and ⅓ innings. He has a 1.74 ERA with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Sophomore Tanner Miller has added some punch to the Ducks' lineup, batting a .381 with seven RBIs, while Wyatt Kayser is batting a team-high .385 with four RBIs and six runs scored.
The Ducks have two games remaining before the playoffs start and Holter expects the time off to help his team recover as some Hanson players are dealing with sore arms due to the number of games played early in the season.
Menno returns to the field, others gearing up for second half
After a lapse in participation, Menno has returned to field a team for the high school spring baseball season for the first time since 2009 and has started 0-4 this year.
Caleb Preszler is leading Menno with a .500 batting average and five RBIs, while Andrew Schaeffer is hitting .375.
Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Woonsocket is 2-2 through four games this season. Coach Eric Denning expects the team to be busy the rest of the way with the bulk of its season still in front. The team has had several players absent due to a mission trip as well.
Deric Denning has been hot to start the season, batting .700 in 12 plate appearances with two doubles, three RBIs and two walks. Charlie Mahaffey has a team high nine innings pitched with a 3.11 ERA, seven strikeouts and nine walks.
Winner/Colome is 5-2 to start the season outscoring opponents 53-23 through seven games. WC's pitching has benefited from the strong performances of Devon Leiferman, Landon Engel and Reed Harter. Leiferman is 2-0 with an unblemished ERA and five strikeouts in nine innings, while Harter has 25 strikeouts in 14 and ⅓ innings pitched. Engel is 1-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 11 strikeouts for WC.
Terrance Kinzer is batting .400 for WC with four RBIs and five runs scored, while Drew Demers has a team-high 10 RBIs.
Wagner/Avon/Lake Andes is 1-4 this season with the team's lone win coming against Hanson County on April 7. Derek Soukup and Cody Namminga are each batting .500 this season, while David Kocer leads the team with two doubles.