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Plankinton downs Beresford, advances

Plankinton shortstop Trevor Salmonson throws a ball to first against Beresford in the SD Class B state amateur baseball tournament on Thursday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

The Plankinton Bankers outhit the Beresford Blues 17-7 en route to a 10-4 victory in a first-round game at the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament Thursday at Cadwell Park.

Plankinton blew the game open after seven-run eighth inning that featured 13 Banker at-bats and three different Blues pitchers.

"We put the ball in play," Banker manager Ryan Pryor said. "Seventeen hits is always a good number to put up."

Plankinton (14-12) advances to play at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Cadwell Park. Beresford is eliminated and ends its season 5-8.

Trailing by one heading into the eighth, Plankinton tied the game at 4 after Travis Gant laced a single to center field and Josh Geppert followed with a base hit up the middle. Gant scored after a Beresford throwing error, and the Bankers took the lead after Orric Earl came through with a two-run single to put Plankinton up 6-4.

After Blues starting pitcher Chris Mohr was pulled, Plankinton was able to take a 10-4 lead by adding four more runs off Riley Stack and Matt Hoines, who both came into the game in relief.

"They just kept getting nice little pop ups over second base," said Beresford manager Al Hoines about the seven-run eighth inning. "We put some good pitchers in but they just took control."

Pryor said the team worked hard to get base runners on throughout the eighth inning.

"We utilized a hit-and-run to start that inning, and it was good base running," Pryor said, adding his team will need to keep hitting the ball well and clean up the defense to move forward in the tournament.

After two scoreless innings to start the game, Plankinton was able break the tie in the top of the third inning with Kyle Bruinsma and Billy Hamilton hitting back-to-back singles. Bruinsma scored on a wild pitch and Hamilton added another run for the Bankers scoring off a balk by Mohr.

Beresford responded in the bottom of the third with two runs of its own off Plankinton starting pitcher Gant to tie the game at 2 going into the fourth.

Geppert smacked a double to start the fourth inning for Plankinton and scored after a fielder's choice to put the Bankers up 3-2.

Once again, the Blues responded with Hoines scoring on an error after a leadoff single to tie the game at 3 going into the fifth. Beresford was able to take its first lead of the game 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning after pick-up player Stack, who singled and stole second base, scored on a Banker error.

Gant was able to finish off the Blues in the final two innings and end the game, giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out nine in nine innings. Gant threw 83 strikes out of 123 total pitches.

"We put up a few hits today and that always helps," Gant said. "The curveball felt like it was working real well today, and I just tried to change the speed and throw strikes."

Pryor said Gant was consistent throughout the entire game for the Bankers.

"Gant threw a heck of a game," he said.