Gassman to lead Miner-McCook at stateMiner-McCook Legion coach Derrin Miller isn’t dwelling on the past. His team plays Flandreau at 10 a.m. in the first round of the Class B state Legion baseball tournament today, and he’s not worried about the matchups the teams had earlier this year.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Miner-McCook Legion coach Derrin Miller isn’t dwelling on the past.
His team plays Flandreau at 10 a.m. in the first round of the Class B state Legion baseball tournament today, and he’s not worried about the matchups the teams had earlier this year.
“We played them twice during the year and lost both times,” Miller said, “but we actually should have won them both.
“It’s not like we can’t beat them.”
Miner-McCook (18-11) is throwing ace Gavin Gassman today in hopes to get its first win over Flandreau this year. The tournament is double-elimination and runs until Tuesday.
Other first-round matchups are Corsica vs. Vermillion; Groton vs. Milbank and Webster vs. Winner/Colome. The Daily Republic was unable to reach Winner/Colome coach Blake Nielson for this report.
Gassman (6-1) has a 0.91 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched this summer. He helped Miner-McCook win the Region 5B title, knocking off Chamberlain 7-6 and picking up two wins over Mount Vernon. Scores were 11-1 in the second round and 16-4 in the championship game.
Gassman also has a team-high .432 average among players who see regular field time.
“He’s our best pitcher and probably our best hitter,” said Miller of the team’s cleanup hitter. “He’s pretty good, easy to coach and comes from a good family.”
Miller — who is in his first year coaching the Legion team — also named Jon Forster, the leadoff hitter, Zach Schrank, No. 2, and Greg Mehlbrech, No. 3, as the best hitters. All have batting average around .300.
Miner-McCook started the season off losing three of its first four games. Miller said it took some time for the players to shore up their defense and play to their potential.
“I think we could win some games at state,” Miller said. “I don’t know much about any of the rest of the teams in the tournament, just Flandreau since we played them.”
Other top pitchers for Miner-McCook are Mehlbrech, who posts a 2.49 ERA in 34 innings pitched and Tyler Genzlinger, who has a 3.04 ERA in about 28 innings pitched.