Brandon Valley rallies for Class A crownDespite allowing the first six runs of the game, Brandon Valley rallied with a six-run seventh inning to beat Renner 7-6 Sunday in the Class A state amateur baseball championship game at Cadwell park in Mitchell.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Despite allowing the first six runs of the game, Brandon Valley rallied with a six-run seventh inning to beat Renner 7-6 Sunday in the Class A state amateur baseball championship game at Cadwell park in Mitchell.
The matchup was the third straight between the Brandon Valley Merchants and the Renner Monarchs in the title game.
Last year, Renner downed the Merchants 7-0 after Brandon Valley won the 2010 title with a 5-3 win. The appearance in the championship game marked the 10th consecutive for Renner.
The Monarchs jumped out to an early lead, scoring in each of the first three innings to go up 4-0. Renner added two more in the fifth to cushion the lead to 6-0.
“We couldn’t get down on ourselves,” Brandon Valley manager/starting catcher Bryce Ahrendt said. “It’s a nine-inning game and funnier things can happen.
“We never got down on each other and that was the most important thing.”
Dan Morrison put Brandon Valley on the board with two outs in the sixth with a home run that went over the scoreboard in right field.
“Morrison got that nice little shot that got us going,” Merchants’ center fielder Zach Danelson said. “Once the bottom of the order started heating up, we knew the top of the lineup could take care of it with them on base.”
The home run was the first major blemish for Renner starting pitcher Dallas Schneiderman, who threw a four-hit shutout in last year’s state championship game against the Merchants.
Schneiderman got out of the sixth without any more damage, but was taken out after the first four batters of the seventh inning reached base.
Schneiderman finished the game with a no-decision, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and three walks in six plus innings. He had six strikeouts.
Renner relief pitcher Darren Terveen took Schneiderman’s place on the mound and managed to get a ground out for the first out of the inning, but after a walk and a double Terveen was pulled from the game.
Jacob Pole hit the double that ended up being Terveen’s last pitch of the game and drove in the tying run.
Derek Ohme was Renner’s next pitcher, forcing Morrison to fly out to right before the ninth batter of the inning Ahrendt singled in the lead run on a 2-2 curveball hit right back up the middle.
“I felt he was going to try and get me on my front foot and pop up,” Ahrendt said. The previous two pitches in the at bat were curveballs taken for strikes. “I just tried to hit it up the middle or the other way and it happened.”
Because Pole’s run ended up being the winning score, Terveen wound up taking the loss on the mound.
Derek Nelson, a pickup player from Yankton, was the winning pitcher for Brandon Valley.
Nelson relieved starter Derek Fischer, who allowed six runs on 10 hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Nelson didn’t allow a run in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up two hits and three walks while striking out one.
“That was nothing short of remarkable,” Ahrendt said. “He came in and shut them down and that’s why we picked him up. We knew there was a chance that he could get in and we were going to rely on him.”
Leading the way at the plate for Brandon Valley was Danelson with two hits, two stolen bases, one run and one RBI. Pole also had two hits, one run and one RBI.
Renner had four hitters with multiple-hit games. Brian McGuire and Matt Gulliano each had three hits while Grant Hieb and Brian Nikkel both added two. Tim Huber walked three times for the Monarchs.
Notes: The sportsmanship award for the state amateur tournament was given to Britton before the start of the ninth inning. … The top of the fourth inning ended with a pickoff at first base by Renner catcher Nikkel. Nikkel fired the ball down to first to get the Merchants’ courtesy runner T.J. Miller on a close play that was argued by several Brandon Valley players. The umpire ruled that the tag caught Miller on the shoulder, only to lead to more arguing from the Merchants’ bench, as the tag was put down close to the bag and the players believed Miller’s hand was on first base safely. … The bottom of the fourth also ended in unusual fashion as Renner’s Michael Clapp struck out swinging as Hieb was running on the pitch from second base. Hieb, thinking the pitch was fouled off as the catcher dropped the ball, slowed down but realized the call on the field as Ahrendt’s throw down to third base went into left field. Hieb picked up speed and tried to score on the play but was thrown out by left fielder Tom Hill. … Brandon Valley was set down in order in the top of the second for the only 1-2-3 inning of the contest. … Brandon Valley’s Danelson was named Class A’s state tournament MVP after helping his squad to the state title and hitting .500. “There’s satisfaction in winning the award,” Danelson said, “but the championship is the better one.” … Andy Turbak, of Castlewood, was Class A’s leading hitter during the tournament.