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Sports:Red Sox win first-ever Class A title over Monarchs

Randy Thygeson was in a tight spot when he entered the game to pitch for Vermillion in the bottom of the sixth inning in the Class A amateur baseball tournament championship game against the Renner Monarchs Sunday afternoon at Cadwell Park.

Randy Thygeson was in a tight spot when he entered the game to pitch for Vermillion in the bottom of the sixth inning in the Class A amateur baseball tournament championship game against the Renner Monarchs Sunday afternoon at Cadwell Park.

The 5-foot-10 Salem native and Yankton Terrys pickup player came into a jam with two Monarchs on base and nobody out in relief of Vermillion's Josh Merrigan.

Thygeson, who pitches for Mount Marty College and will be a junior this coming season, was greeted rudely when Renner's Luke Langenfeld belted a three-run home run over the left-field wall to make it 7-6.

The Monarchs scored two more runs off of Thygeson in the frame to take an 8-7 lead on RBI singles from Bryan Hohenthaner and Brian McGuire.

However, Thygeson, who was named the Class A MVP, eventually buckled down and helped Vermillion to its first-ever Class A title with a 9-8 win in come-from-behind fashion. The Red Sox won back-to-back Class B titles in 2003 and 2004 before making the move up to Class A.

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"When I first came out there with runners on, it was a little different because I've never come into a game with this much pressure," Thygeson said. "There was a lot on my shoulders and I made a few mistakes. The way Vermillion plays together, though, it took all the load off of my shoulders. Without these guys out there, I would've lost my motivation.

"There's no place I would've rather been (today)."

Trailing 8-7, the Red Sox tied the game at 8 in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Brian Boyer. The RBI came off Renner reliever Derek Ohme, who also surrendered the winning run in the top of the eighth.

Ohme started the eighth by giving up a single to Travis Peters. He was then relieved by Luke Kathol, who promptly gave up a double to Thygeson to give Vermillion runners on second and third with nobody out.

Robin Chute was up next and he sent a fly ball to right field to sacrifice Peters in with the winning run.

After surviving the sixth, Thygeson pushed his way through the final three innings. In the final three frames, he walked three, struck out four and only gave up two hits.

"Randy's been sharper, but he battled," Vermillion manager Kirk Sorensen said. "He was a little in and out. He kept us on our toes the whole time. The game wasn't over until the last out. Renner battled -- it was too close."

In all, Thygeson went four innings, gave up three earned runs on five hits, struck out five and walked three to pick up the win. Merrigan went the first five innings for the Red Sox and gave up five earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two.

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In the ninth, he struck out two and walked one and got the final out on a nice diving catch in right field by Chris Losett.

"I was definitely tired in that last inning," Thygeson said. "Having all the guys behind me and cheering was definitely motivating."

Renner went up 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning on another three-run homer, this one coming off the bat of Kevin Knetsch. Vermillion chipped away at the lead and got within 3-2 in the top of the third thanks to an RBI single from Colby Lessman and an RBI double from Boyer.

The Red Sox took a 5-3 lead after a three-run fourth inning and had a 7-3 edge after a two-run fifth. In the fourth, an RBI double from Thygeson, a throwing error by Renner catcher Jay Yungbluth that brought home Thygeson and an RBI single from Josh Malenosky highlighted the inning. In the fifth, Losett hit a two-run blast off Renner starting pitcher Michael Clapp.

Clapp went four innings and gave up seven runs on 13 hits. Ohme, who took the loss, went three innings and gave up two runs on three hits. Luke Kathol threw the final two innings and gave up two hits.

Vermillion was on Renner's pitching all day and finished with 18 hits. Losett went 3-for-5, Boyer went 4-for-5 with two RBI, Thygeson and Lessman both went 2-for-5 and Chute and Malenosky both went 2-for-4.

"When you get to this point in the tournament, everybody's pitching is worn out," Sorensen said. "Ohme threw against us two nights ago and didn't allow us much and Clapp didn't allow us anything. It was good to see us get the hits and it made it an exciting ball game."

For Renner, Langenfeld and McGuire both went 2-for-5 and Clapp and Hohenthaner both went 2-for-4. Renner had 11 hits and one error in the game.

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The Renner Roadrunners' Darren Terveen won the Class A batting title with a .667 average (10-for-15).

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