Mount Vernon, Platte, Tabor among state hosts: Area towns planning, preparing for teener baseball tournaments to end yearThe Mount Vernon baseball diamond saw several upgrades before the start of last year’s Class B varsity state teener tournament. A new press box and a sound system were installed. The fence was moved back as a part of a re-aligned field and a green tarp was hung on the fencing to enclose the field.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The Mount Vernon baseball diamond saw several upgrades before the start of last year’s Class B varsity state teener tournament.
A new press box and a sound system were installed. The fence was moved back as a part of a re-aligned field and a green tarp was hung on the fencing to enclose the field.
Before last August, the most recent state tournament in Mount Vernon was in the late 1990s, teener coach Eric Denning said.
But for a second straight year, Mount Vernon will be hosting a teener tournament, this time the Class B 13-14-year-old tournament July 27-29.
“It’s always exciting for kids to play in a state tournament,” Denning said. “We’ve got a nice team and should be pretty competitive.”
Soon, region tournaments will be held for the small towns that have teener baseball teams and state tournaments start at the end of July and go into mid-August. Besides Mount Vernon, Platte, Tabor and Humboldt are among the towns around the area that will be hosting state teener tournaments.
Denning said the diamond won’t make more upgrades before the start of the tournament. However, a new batting cage was installed earlier this year.
The Class A 13-14 tournament will be held in Humboldt the same weekend as Mount Vernon’s state tournament. All of the Class A and Class B tournaments will be eight-team fields with the host team getting an automatic bid and seven other region teams qualifying.
Brad Rechtenbaugh, a tournament director in Humboldt, said the diamond is getting new dugouts and a new crow’s nest before the first state tournament pitch is thrown.
“The parents are helping out and everyone is chipping in to get everything done,” he said.
Platte is hosting the state Class B varsity tournament Aug. 10-12, and co-tournament director Ron Millar said it’s the first time the town has hosted a state baseball tournament since having the Legion tournament in 2009.
“We feel, especially among Class B towns, we have one of the top facilities in the state,” he said. “We’re very happy with the field.”
The tournament in Platte is planning on using DakStats, a computer program that tracks games and has live updates for players, fans and parents not attending. In 2009, the Legion tournament used the program, and Millar said it got more than 1,000 hits a day.
“That hasn’t been done in the teener tournaments in the past,” Millar said.
Last year, Tabor’s two teener teams qualified for the state tournament. The 13-14 team won the Class A state championship, while the varsity team took third.
Gary Kortan, who coaches both teams, is looking for his team to play in both tournaments. His 13-14 team would need to qualify in Humboldt, while the Class A state varsity tournament is being held in Tabor Aug. 10-12.
According to Kortan, Tabor has never hosted a state teener tournament. The last time the town had a state tournament was the Legion in 1984.
“We’ve got the support of the community,” Kortan said. “We’re re-doing a lot of things at the park, a new grandstand, trying to get the scoreboard fixed up and trying to do a lot of improvements.”
In Class AA, which is what the Mitchell teeners are classified in, the 13-14 majors state tournament is Aug. 3-5 in Brookings, while the 13-14 minors state tournament is in Huron the same weekend. The Class AA state varsity majors and minors play in Sioux Falls Aug. 10-12.
The 10-and-under state baseball tournament is July 20-22 in Brandon, while the 12-and-under state tournament is July 20-22 in Sioux Falls. All classes will be played at those two sites.