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Experience key for Parkston, Tyndall at state VFW tournament

Seven players on Tyndall’s varsity teener team are looking for a three-peat at the Class A state VFW baseball tournament this weekend in Harrisburg.

Tyndall won back-to-back state titles at the 13-14 Class A teener tournament the past two years, and seven players who were on those teams lead Tyndall against Dell Rapids in a first-round game at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

“Knowing history and how we’ve played against each other, I think that’s going to be the big matchup,” said Tyndall coach Gary Kortan, whose team beat Dell Rapids in the first round at the state tournament two years ago. The two teams met up earlier this year at a tournament in Humboldt with Dell Rapids winning 13-8.

Tyndall (13-6) defeated Parkston in the Region 4A championship game, but the top two teams in each region qualify for state. Tyndall outscored region competition 50-11 in four postseason tournament wins.

“I give Tyndall the nod as the favorite,” Parkston coach Tim Rands said. “Until someone beats them, they’re the two-time defending champion and a really good team.”

Kortan said Hunter Young will start Friday for Tyndall.

“He’s been one of our staples for both of our 13-14 titles and he’s one of the older kids,” Kortan said. “We’re going to look for him to lead us.”

Zach Sutera, Chase Kortan and Cole Uecker will also see time on the mound during the tournament. Tyndall is led offensively by Sutera and Kortan.

Parkston (15-11) opens the state tournament with a 5 p.m. game against Groton Friday. Rands said the teams have not met this year.

Like Tyndall, Parkston also has plenty of experience. Last year, Parkston’s 13-14 teener team took fourth at the state tournament and Rands said this group of players have qualified for three consecutive state tournaments.

Rands said Dillon Stadlman will start Friday. Stadlman, Ty Kinneberg and Nate Gramm are each batting over .400 on the season to lead the offense.

“The depth of our pitching and team speed have been our strength,” Rands said.

Vermillion plays Volga at noon and Humboldt plays Harrisburg at 7:30 p.m. in the other two first-round matchups. The second round is Saturday and the tournament concludes Sunday.