Pitchers highlight Class B all-tournament team
After a hard-fought state amateur baseball tournament, pitchers highlight the all-tournament team, which was released Sunday evening.
Atop the list were champion Alexandria pitchers Tyson Gau -- who was named the Class B Most Valuable Player -- and Trever Vermeulen, Winner/Colome's Derek Graesser and J.J. Farner, Dimock/Emery's Phil Johnson and Akron's Jared Kir Kabey.
For a complete list of the all-tournament teams, see Page B2.
Alexandria Angels catcher/manager Chris Marek said quality pitching was showcased in many close and extra-inning games.
"I think pitching was a strong point, and that's what you saw with games that were so closely played," he said. "There were few games where a team scored double-digit runs this year."
Gau, who led the Angels to its first-ever championship, has pitched in two state title games -- the other with Dimock/Emery in 2010 when he was a Legion pickup player. He said it feels good to do well individually but was more excited about the team goal that was achieved.
"I wasn't expecting it to happen and felt good about it," Gau said of earning the tournament MVP award. "But a lot of teams put winning the state championship as a goal, and we were able to go out there and pull through. It still feels great."
Gau said the recent switch to wooden bats has caused pitchers to take more control over the game. But Canova's Trevor Oswald didn't go with the norm as he was the batting champion with a batting average of .636.
Last year, two teams -- the Parkston Mudcats and Crofton, Neb. -- each had six players named to the list. This year no team had more than two players named to the list in Class B.
"It was a more balanced field and there were no blowouts or team that stood out for multiple games," Marek said. "They awarded multiple teams for those outcomes."
Vermeulen led the field in strikeouts (25) and pitched 19 2/3 innings, while Johnson threw a tournament-high 21 innings.
Other area players named to the list were Canova's Lincoln Gassman, Parkston Mudcats' Jeff Harris, Salem's Mitch McNary and Tabor's Brett Scherschlight -- a pickup player from Freeman. The rest of the Class B all-tournament field consists of Dell Rapids PBR's Nate Henry, Larchwood's Case Vanderfeen, Wynot's Steve Heimes, Colman's Rob Lind and Crofton's Nick Hegge.
SD state amateur baseball all-tournament teams
*signifies class batting champion
**signifies class MVP
Class A: Derrick Appley (Vermillion); Harry Decker (Pierre); Jordan LaBrie (Pierre); Danny Hughs (Sioux Falls Saints); Jared Miller (Sioux Falls Saints); Zach Danelson (Sioux Falls Brewers); Landon Danelson (Sioux Falls Brewers); Dan Morrison (Sioux Falls Brewers); *Michael Clapp (Renner); **Tim Huber (Renner); David Borchardt (Renner); Erik DeJong (Renner); Derek Ohme (Renner); Matt Wilber (Renner).
Class B: **Tyson Gau (Alexandria); Trever Vermeulen (Alexandria); Derek Graesser (Winner/Colome); J.J. Farner (Winner/Colome); Phil Johnson (Dimock/Emery); Jeff Harris (Parkston Mudcats); *Trevor Oswald (Canova); Lincoln Gassman (Canova); Nate Henry (Dell Rapids PBR); Chase Vanderfeen (Larchwood); Jared Kir Kaby (Akron); Mitch McNary (Salem); Steve Heimes (Wyont); Rob Lind (Colman); Nick Hegge (Crofton); Brett Scherschlight (Tabor).