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Platte falls to Flandreau

Platte pitcher Hayden Kuiper throws a pitch against the Flandreau Cardinals in the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

Despite out-hitting their opponent, the Platte Killer Tomatoes fell to the Flandreau Cardinals 4-2 in a second-round game at the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

Platte's Jordan Johnson belted a triple into the right-field gap and scored off a Keith Cutler single to put Platte ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Platte held on to its lead until the top of the sixth, when Flandreau was able to score two runs and take a 2-1 lead. Mitch Foster doubled and scored as pick-up player Nate Henry added the go-ahead run off a Killer Tomato error.

"We couldn't come up with big hits in big spots," Johnson said. "We just couldn't get a big hit when we needed it."

Flandreau (13-9) advances to play Alexandria in the quarterfinal round at 8 p.m. Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. Platte is eliminated and finishes its year at 9-11.

"We've got to score more runs," Platte manager Todd Strand said. "We didn't tonight. We played two strong games this tournament but just came up a bit short."

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Platte threatened to tie the game up after back-to-back singles by Jon Hoeksma and Mike Buitenbos, but Cardinal starter Bret Severtson was able to keep the Killer Tomatoes off the board.

"It was tough early. We made some adjustments and put the ball in play and we ended up on top," said Cardinal manager Severtson, who added his team will need to execute in all phases of the game to beat Alexandria. "We're going to go at them just like any other team."

The Cardinals added to their lead in the top of eighth inning as Jake Ulrich singled and scored after a wild pitch to take a 3-1 lead.

Platte looked to reclaim some of the comeback magic from Frank Cutler, who had the game-winning hit against Canova, as he pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on. However, this time the 2014 hall-of-fame inductee hit into an inning-ending double play.

Flandreau took a 4-1 lead in the top of the ninth after Foster hit a two-out triple and scored on a Henry single.

Platte loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth and scored a run to cut into the Flandreau lead, but was unable to come up with the big go-ahead hit.

Hayden Kuiper started on the mound for the Killer Tomatoes and pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs off six hits and adding four strikeouts. Pick-up player Kirby Fuerst took over and finished the contest, giving up two runs off three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Severtson pitched nine innings, giving up two runs off 13 hits and striking out eight.