In the long-standing rivalry between the Renner Monarchs and the Sioux Falls Brewers, the series remains one-sided when it counts the most.
Scoreless through seven innings, the four-time defending Class A state champions Renner made it five straight titles with one run each in the eighth and ninth innings for a 2-0 victory over the Brewers Sunday at Cadwell Park.
The victory extended the history-making run the Monarchs are on, winning their 20th state championship overall and the sixth in the last seven years. Sunday’s title game was the 15th straight Class A championship appearance for the Monarchs.
“Come state tournament time, we all know it’s time to turn it on,” Renner center-fielder Chaz Palmer said. “Everyone gears up and it’s time to go get that next one.”
Renner made its move in the eighth inning, with a lead-off single from Palmer, and the bases were eventually loaded for Tim Huber with two out. Huber coaxed a walk in a nine-pitch at-bat to score Palmer and put the Monarchs on the board. In the ninth, Palmer added an RBI single to score Corey Vasquez to set the score at 2-0.
The Monarchs (21-6) had to make their way through the loser’s bracket for a second straight year after a Friday’s 8-7 loss to the Brewers. On Sunday, the winner-take-all championship game played out much differently, mainly because of starter Dallas Schneiderman. The longtime Monarchs ace was tough to touch in the title game, allowing four hits and striking out seven on 110 pitches in the shutout.
“He won’t be able to do much for the next month but he doesn’t care,” Renner manager Kevin Knetsch said of Schneiderman. “But he’s able to go out there and dominate.”
Schneiderman was the Class A most valuable player, pitching two shutouts in the tournament. He pitched four times during the season, all shutouts. Palmer, who won the Tony Adams Hustle Award for Class A Saturday, was the tournament’s batting champion with a .600 (9-for-15) average.
Renner had won the 2015 and 2016 titles over the Brewers in one-run, 10-inning games, making the two-run win seem like a blowout by comparison. Knetsch said the team’s consistency has been the key to the remarkable run.
“We’ve just had a lot of great players step up when it counts over the years,” Knetsch said. “When you’ve got as many guys that you can count on like we do, it gives you a great chance.”
Renner out-hit the Brewers 11-4, with three hits from Palmer and Grant Hieb. David Borchardt and Corey Vasquez each had two hits. For Sioux Falls (19-5), Jose Martinez had a double, while T.J. Miller, Ian Strum and Tom Hill all had singles. Ahrendt took the loss, allowing 11 hits, two runs (one earned) and striking out nine.
Renner enjoyed the victory and Knetsch said soon the drive for six straight titles will be the next focus for the Monarchs, with the Brewers likely in their way again.
“We have been fortunate to come out on the right side of it more times than not,” Knetsch said. “But when it’s a one game scenario like that and we’re both good teams, it’s going to come down to who plays better. We played a bit better today.”
R 000 000 011 -- 2 11 0
SF 000 000 000 -- 0 4 2
WP: Dallas Schneiderman. LP: Bryce Ahrendt. 2B: Sioux Falls: Jose Martinez.