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Angels throttle Aces in slugfest

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Alexandria's Tyson Gau (5) celebrates a two-run home run with Peyton Smith (1) while rounding third during a second round game against Canton in the South Dakota State Amateur Baseball Tournament on Wednesday night at Cadwell Park. (Matt Gade / Republic)2 / 2

Make it 52 wins in the last 53 games for the Alexandria Angels.

The defending Class B state champions continued their quest for a repeat by picking up a 15-7 slugfest win over the Canton Aces in the second round of the South Dakota State Amateur Baseball Tournament on Wednesday at Cadwell Park.

The Aces (6-12), out of the State Line League, did their best to hang with the Sunshine League champions, out-hitting the Angels through seven and a half innings. But Alexandria (24-1) proved to be too much as the Angel offense scored at least one run in five different innings.

"Scrappy is probably the answer," Alexandria player/manager Chris Marek said about the Aces. "I remember one ball that was hit hard, but they fought in the batter's box. They were tough to strike out and they put the ball in play."

Canton pulled within three runs after the top of the fifth inning, but never really threatened to take the lead as Alexandria racked up 14 hits, including seven extra-base hits.

"We've just been out there competing and sticking with our approach," said John Greicar, who went 3-for-4 and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. "We put some good swings on it, but so did they. It was just a good old-fashioned dogfight."

The offensive onslaught began in the first inning, when Tyson Gau blasted a two-run home run over the left-field fence. Pierce Smith hit an RBI single up the middle to score Wyatt Kayser, who was a courtesy runner for Marek, giving Alexandria an early 3-0 lead.

Canton responded with two runs in the top of the second inning, capitalizing on two Angel errors.

In the bottom of the third inning, Marek laced a two-run double and Kayser, running for Marek, came around to score on a Reid Smith sacrifice fly. Pierce Smith scored on an RBI double by Jerrod Zens, who scored on a single by Peyton Smith to put Alexandria up 8-2 after three innings.

"We just had good approaches and we were looking for pitches early in the count to put in play," Marek said about his team's offense. "Hits with two-outs is really what the success is and that's what we've done well all year."

Once again, the Aces responded with two more runs in the top of the fourth inning and Canton added one more run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the Angels' lead down 8-5.

Greicar led the bottom of the fifth inning off with a double and came around to score on a fielder's choice by Zens. Reid Smith scored on another Peyton Smith RBI single to make the score 10-5 after five innings.

Greicar then smashed a triple to deep right-center field in the bottom of the sixth inning to score Jordan Gau and put the Angels up 11-5.

Tyson Gau worked out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning keeping the Aces off the scoreboard. Canton struck again with two runs in the top of the eighth inning, but the Angels shut the door by piling on four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

"We just went up to the plate at battled," Cantan player/manager Nick Sehr said. "They are a good team. I thought we played the best we could and we won't hang our head on this one."

Tyson Gau went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and earned thew in on the mound. He gave up seven runs (five earned) on 13 hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in nine innings pitched (162 pitches).

Pierce Smith added two hits and three RBIs as eight different Angels recorded at least one hit.

For Canton, Blake Beard took the loss, allowing six earned runs on six hits with two walks in two innings pitched. Tyler Maxwell tossed five innings in relief and Jake Roskam added one inning.

Thad Meister went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Jordan Sehr had a triple and an RBI. Nick Sehr, Alex Richards and Roskam each had two hits.

C 020 210 020—7 13 5

A 305 021 04X—15 14 3

WP: Tyson Gau. LP: Brad Beard. Pitchers: C: Brad Beard, Tyler Maxwell, Jake Roskam. Doubles: A: Tyson Gau, John Greicar, Jerrod Zens, Chris Mark, Pierce Smith; Triples: A: Home runs: A: Tyson Gau