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Miscues sink Mount Vernon in loss to Irene

Mount Vernon's Chase Hetland (2) steals home to score a run in front of teammate Deric Denning (5) during a second-round game against the Irene in the South Dakota State Amateur Baseball Tournament Monday at Cadwell Park. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Errors and miscues dominated the second-round game between Mount Vernon and Irene on Monday night.

In total, there were 10 errors between the two teams, but none were bigger than the Mustangs’ error in the top of the seventh inning, which allowed Irene to score two runs and take their first lead of the night 6-5.

That proved to be enough for the Cardinals as they held on for the 6-5 win at the South Dakota State Class B Amateur Baseball Tournament at Cadwell Park.

“You have to make plays and for whatever reason, we didn’t make them,” Mount Vernon player/manager Deric Denning said. “(Mount Vernon shortstop) Seth (Cavanaugh) had a rough day and he’s been one of the better defensive shortstops I’ve seen all year and played with.”

Cavanaugh ended up committing three errors, while Denning, Chase Hetland and Zac Custer each had an official error in the loss.

On the flip slide, Irene (12-9) continued to find ways to put the ball in play and finished the game with 10 hits.

“From the first inning, we hit the ball and we chipped away,” Irene manager Kendall Johnke said. “It was an ugly game both ways. We had a lot of errors and you just have to capitalize on those errors. Both teams did. Fortunately for us, we just did a little bit better.”

The Cardinals (12-9) advance to face Larchwood (Iowa) in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, while the Mustangs’ season ends at 17-10.  

Ryne Lees, a former Augustana University player, earned the win on the mound for Irene. Lees tossed a complete game, allowing five runs (one earned) on nine hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.

“He mixes speeds well and his curveball is good,” Denning said about Lees. “He throws hard and he’s been in big games. He’s a good pitcher.”

Jed Schmidt took the loss in relief. Schmidt allowed two unearned runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts in six innings pitched. Matt Larson tossed 2/3 of an inning, getting out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the ninth inning.

“We’ll be back, we have a really good group of guys and a good core,” Denning said about his team’s season. “We’ve been in big games and we’re always looking to get better. I can’t say enough about the character of our guys.”

Utilizing its speed on the basepaths, Mount Vernon was able to score four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Mustangs stole three bases and capitalized on two Irene errors to take an early 4-0 lead, which didn’t faze the Cardinals, who responded with one quick run in the top of the second inning.

“Everything didn’t go our way in the first inning,” said Lees. “After that, we were able to settle down and pieced some runs together.”

A possible Mount Vernon double play was waved off when Mustang starting pitcher Nick Honke was called for a balk. The Cardinals took advantage, scoring two runs on a doubly by George Sees off the left-field fence. Simon Healy scored the game-tying run on a Mustang error at the plate as the game was tied 4-4 after three innings.

Honke, who was pulled in the third inning, only pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits with one strikeout.

The Mustangs retook the lead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Briggs Havlik, who was a courtesy runner for Zac Custer, scored on an Irene error.  

Custer led the Mustangs with three hits, while Cavanaugh added two hits and an RBI.

For Irene, Sam Parkinson, Lees and Sees each had two hits.

I 013 000 200 -- 6 10 4

MV 400 010 000 -- 5 9 6

WP: Ryne Lees; LP: Jed Schmidt; Pitchers: I: Lees; MV: Nick Honke, Schmidt (3) and Matt Larson (9); Doubles: I: George Sees, Ryne Lees; MV: Deric Denning  

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