Notebook: Hardhats take 37th state championshipBy defeating Sioux Falls East 6-1 Sunday evening, the Rapid City Post 22 Legion baseball team claimed its 37th state championship. Dating back to 1926, Post 22 never won a state title until 1961. It won the next three state championships and won again in 1965, when current coach Dave Ploof took over.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
By defeating Sioux Falls East 6-1 Sunday evening, the Rapid City Post 22 Legion baseball team claimed its 37th state championship.
Dating back to 1926, Post 22 never won a state title until 1961. It won the next three state championships and won again in 1965, when current coach Dave Ploof took over.
Ploof led the Hardhats to state titles in the first two years as coach and then from 1970 to 1987 won 17 straight state titles.
Mitchell has three state titles, including in 1928, 1951 and 1999. It lost in the state championship game in 2008 when Aberdeen won on its home field.
Aberdeen’s Cox goes 16-for-23 to win batting title
Aberdeen’s Christian Cox was given the tournament’s big stick award.
He went 16-for-23 for a tournament-best .739 average over the course of five games.
The award, which is sponsored by the South Dakota Umpires Association, is given to the player with the highest batting average with a minimum of 12 at-bats in the state tournament.
Since 1994, when the award first started, the highest average in a tournament was by Justin Rippentrop of Sioux Falls West in 2003 when he batted .684.
Cox’s best day at the plate over the week was Friday in the second round against Alexandria. He went 5-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
He had at least three hits in all but one game, which was against Sioux Falls East Sunday afternoon when he went 2-for-4.
Mitchell players who have won the award are Greg Hento in 2000 at .444, and Jason Schmidt in 2008 at .476.
Buck leads Post 18 offensively
Mitchell second baseman Ryan Buck led his team with a .636 batting average in Post 18’s three games.
Buck went 7-for-11 with two doubles, a triple and five RBIs. Besides Buck, Zach London had the next highest average for Post 18 at .429 in seven at-bats.
Kendall Patrick had two doubles, a triple and hit .364 and Collin Moen hit .333.
No other Post 18 player had an average highest than .250, which is what Sean DeVries, Kyle Larson and Josh Schmidt each recorded for the weekend.
Nick Young — who hit .200 — had a two-run homer in the first round.
The team had 30 strikeouts in three games and scored 25 runs.
Post 18 had a team .297 average, recorded 21 walks and eight hit by pitches.
Emery throws 18 innings in 2 games
Post 22’s Kolton Emery — the 2009 state Legion player of the year — threw 18 innings in his two starts.
The only reason it didn’t count for two complete games is because his team was forced into extra innings in the first round against Sioux Falls West, which it came back to win 3-2.
Emery struck out 11 against West and 16 in the tournament. He allowed one earned run and 11 hits in two starts.