Dimock/Emery could win Sunshine League regular season with victory SundayWith a win Sunday, defending state champion Dimock/Emery will win the Sunshine League.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
By LUKE HAGEN
The Daily Republic
With a win Sunday, defending state champion Dimock/Emery will win the Sunshine League.
Dimock/Emery — which won its first-ever state amateur baseball state title last year — plays its final Sunshine League regular season game Sunday when it hosts the Parkston Mudcats at 7 p.m. in Emery. The Mudcats won the regular season title last year.
“Bottom line, it’s a nice feather in your hat to win the league,” Dimock/Emery manager Ron DeGeest said, “but especially this year there’s going to be some pretty good pickup players, so winning the district tournament will be much more important than winning the league.”
Dimock/Emery is 11-2 in the Sunshine League, while the Mudcats are 10-2 and play Alexandria in their final league game on July 14. Alexandria is at 7-4 and third in the Sunshine League, which has seven Class B teams and the Mitchell Mad Dogs, who are a Class A team.
Parkston manager Dave Roth said this year’s Sunshine League title is important because it gives the No. 1 seed an automatic bye to the semifinals of the District 5B tournament.
“If you’re the top seed, you only have to win one game to make it to the state tournament,” said Roth, whose team won the district title last year.
DeGeest and Roth weren’t sure who would pitch for their teams Sunday. Dimock/Emery’s two losses have come from the Mitchell Mad Dogs and the Mudcats, while Parkston has lost to Alexandria and Platte. If the Mudcats win Sunday, they’d have to beat Alexandria later in July to hope to win the the league championship.
This year, four of the seven District 5B teams will earn berths into the state tournament, which runs Aug. 3-14 in Mitchell. The District 5B tournament will be July 21-29 in Platte. Last year, District 5B held nine teams and the top five qualified for the state tournament.
Chris Marek, who manages Alexandria, said injuries have plagued his team’s hopes for a Sunshine League title.
This year, Alexandria has its first amateur baseball team in recent years, and Marek said up until about a week ago, it had a great shot at taking the regular-season championship.
“I would say with how we did being a first-year team, we were very successful,” Marek said. “For the first half of the season, we were competitive and won some games, but injuries have made a dramatic effect on our season.”
The Mitchell Mad Dogs are 6-5 in the Sunshine League, but the team does not play in the District 5B tournament. Platte is 4-9, Corsica/Stickney is 4-8, the Parkston Rock Bass are 3-7 and Delmont is 2-8.
“I know we’re going to pull in some solid Legion players once districts come,” Corsica/Stickney manager Chad Wentland said. “If we get some Legion players, we could be pretty solid. But they could still be playing in the state tournament … and they have a pretty good chance at doing that. But if our bats can come hot, we can definitely can contend. I honestly think we have a good chance at making it to state this year.”