On the fourth pitch of the game, Jason Schmidt crushed a lead-off home run for the Dimock-Emery Raptors.
From there, Deon Entringer went to work for the Dell Rapids Mudcats.
Schmidt hit a solo shot off Entringer to right-center field, but the right-hander then shut down Dimock-Emery to propel the Mudcats to a 4-2 win at Cadwell Park on Saturday during the State B amateur baseball tournament.
“I just wasn’t settled in yet,” said Entringer, who is a pick-up player from Colman. “But credit to him. He is an outstanding hitter. He is one of the best hitters I have ever faced. I faced him a couple years ago in the state tournament and he is always a tough out.”
After the home run, Entringer made things tough and retired 18 straight batters on his way to the complete-game performance.
“He shrugged it off and just came out tougher than ever after that,” Dell Rapids manager Jim Wilber said.
Entringer, a former South Dakota State baseball player, struck out six batters, scattered five hits and gave up two runs.
“I got settled in a little bit and got something going on the mound and defense played outstanding behind me,” Entringer added.
Dell Rapids produced just enough offense in the middle innings to support Entringer. The Mudcats out-hit the Raptors 8-5. Trevor Fruedenthal and Mark Houck both had two hits and each had an RBI. Nate Henry, Kris King, Aaron Johnson and Grant Olson each had a hit.
“Credit to those guys for having good approaches at the plate and getting some runs across the board,” Entringer said.
After Olson’s RBI sac fly plated King to make it 4-1 in the sixth inning, Gene Kitchens finally got a single in the top of the seventh. Jared Schmidt and Sam Pischke then hit back-to-back singles, with Pischke’s plating Kitchens from second base.
“Through the middle innings, we had a hard time squaring Deon up,” Dimock-Emery manager Brad Bartscher said. “He is a h--- of a pitcher and we knew that going into it. He has good off-speed pitches and his fastball is lively. He competed. He got good hitters out and made good pitches.”
Entringer gave up one more hit in the eighth, but continued to keep Dimock-Emery off the scoreboard through the last two innings.
Phil Johnson took the loss for Dimock-Emery. He went eight innings, allowed four runs, eight hits and struck out four batters. The Raptors committed three errors, but Bartscher also credited their defense for making tough plays.
“Phil just keeps picking the guys up and the guys behind him made some great plays, too,” Bartscher said. “We had some tough bunts and stuff to field and made good plays. So those can even out as the game goes on. No one is at fault for that. It is just part of the game.”
Dimock-Emery, making its 11 straight state appearance, finishes the season 14-11.
“We actually had a fun, great season and probably won some games that people probably didn’t expect us to win and kept battling and competing all year,” Bartscher said.
The Mudcats will play Crofton, Nebraska at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the next round of the tournament. Wilber said Dell Rapids will throw Collin Karst.
“He’s been our No. 1 pitcher,” Wilber said. “He can mix it up with fastball and curveball and he is a heady guy and he’s looking forward to pitching.”