Forty-six teams to compete in 12-and-under state baseball tourneyBob Everson and his Mitchell Thunder baseball team haven’t had a ton of success yet this summer. But all that could change after this weekend’s VFW 12-and-under state baseball tournament.
By: Travis Mester, The Daily Republic
Bob Everson and his Mitchell Thunder baseball team haven’t had a ton of success yet this summer.
But all that could change after this weekend’s VFW 12-and-under state baseball tournament.
“We’ve struggled this year, but we’re capable of playing with anybody we’ve played,” Everson said. “We’re going to be in a tough division of teams this weekend too, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Everson’s squad will be one of 46 teams competing in four divisions this weekend at the Cadwell Softball Complex. Each team in the tournament will play one game today. The Thunder face the Yankton Red Sox at 3 p.m. and Mitchell’s other team, the Mustangs, face the Sioux Falls T-Bones at 5 p.m. All games will be played on the east and west softball fields at Cadwell.
The Thunder are part of the 9-team ‘AA’ traveling majors division. There is also a 9-team ‘AA’ traveling minors division, a 16-team ‘A’ division and a 12-team ‘B’ division.
“The schedules are set up for most of our area teams to play later in the day (today,” Mitchell Baseball Association board member Dave Huber said. “That way we’ll be able to attract more and more people from the surrounding communities to work it into their schedules.”
Other area teams competing this weekend include three area teams in the ‘A’ division — Bon Homme, Chamberlain and Parkston. There will also be six area teams that will compete in the ‘B’ division — Ethan, Wessington Springs, Mount Vernon, Canova, Artesian/Letcher and Canistota.
All teams will play one game today when pool play begins at 1 p.m. Teams also are guaranteed two games Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. The top four teams from each division will move on to championship Sunday.
Sunday, play will begin at 9:30 a.m. with four teams remaining in each division, a bracket will be set up in each division pitting the No. 4 seed against the top seed and the No. 3 seed against the No. 2 seed. The winners of the two games will face off in the championship, while the losers will play in a third-place game. Following Sunday’s play, four champions will be crowned.
This is the first year the VFW state tournament is implementing the ‘AA’ traveling minors division.
“The new division is made up of teams that have plenty of 11-year-old teams,” Mustangs’ coach Todd Cavanaugh said. “The majors division is made up of teams that are very powerful and have a majority of 12-year-old teams.”
Huber said the tournament is entirely sanctioned by the VFW, but the Mitchell Baseball Association will lend a helping hand throughout the weekend to assist with field upkeep.
There will be an opening ceremony prior to Sunday’s games that will include the playing of the national anthem by the VFW color guard and a short speech by VFW State Baseball Chairman Vern Lind.
For a complete tournament schedule, see the Scoreboard section on Page 8.