The Bon Homme/Scotland baseball team's next step toward defending its Class B state title comes on Monday.
In the Region 1B semifinals at 4 p.m. in North Sioux City, No. 2 Bon Homme/Scotland (12-1) takes on third-seeded Beresford (9-4), with the winner advancing to face the winner of No. 1 Dakota Valley (10-1) vs. No. 4 Hanson/Bridgewater-Emery/Mount Vernon/Plankinton (3-8), which plays at 6 p.m.
The Region 1B final is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday, but the date could be changed. The winners of the semifinal games advance to the Class B state tournament on May 27-28 in Sioux Falls.
After suffering its only loss of the season to Dakota Valley, Bon Homme/Scotland won six straight games, thanks in part to a strong pitching staff. It has allowed two or fewer runs in nine games, including in a 10-0 win over Wagner/Avon in the first round of the postseason.
Christian Uecker has thrown a team-high 21 innings to go with a 5-0 record, 1.00 ERA, 0.857 WHIP and 42 strikeouts to just four walks. Zach Cuka (1.40 ERA) and Trent Herrboldt (1.75 ERA) have both thrown double-digit innings, helping Bon Homme/Scotland hold teams to 1.7 runs per game.
Bon Homme/Scotland has gotten production from up-and-down its lineup, as well. Beau Rothschadl, Josh Schmidt and Tyler Kopp all have a team-high 16 hits, while Kaden Kozak is also hitting .440 and Joey Slama is batting .405. Its power has come from Kopp and Rothschadl, who have both smacked three homers.
The Ducks are also peaking at the right time as they've won their last three games. With their top-two pitchers stepping up, they defeated Parkston/Ethan/Tripp, 8-2, in the first round.
Hunter Pranger and Craig Lasley combined to strike out eight batters and allowed two earned runs in a complete-game effort. This season, Pranger (5.17 ERA) has team highs of 21 2/3 innings and 19 strikeouts, while Lasley (1.85 ERA) has whiffed 15 batters in 11 1/3 frames. Jonah Hofer also has 15 strikeouts.
Pranger has also been the Ducks' top hitter, owning a .419 batting average. Matt Koch is also hitting .375, while Drew Ferry has driven in a team-high five runs. The Ducks have scored 17 runs in their past three games after being held to 16 in their first eight contests.
Royals, Gregory/Burke clash in Region 4B
No. 2 seed Winner/Colome (8-3) and No. 3 Gregory/Burke (3-6) will play for a spot in the Region 4B championship game at 5 p.m. Monday. The winner takes on the winner of top-seeded St. Thomas More (10-0) vs. No. 4 Hot Springs (5-6) in the title game at 7 p.m in Rapid City.
The Royals have won both games against Gregory/Burke this season, including once during their current three-game winning streak. They defeated Chamberlain/Kimball/Lyman 2-1 in the first round, while Gregory/Burke earned a 5-2 win over first-place Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian/White Lake/Corsica-Stickney.
Jackson Kinzer has led the Royals on the mound and at the plate. He has a 1.84 ERA and 1.087 WHIP to go with 31 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings, while recording a team highs of 20 hits and 16 RBIs.
Jacob Beckers also has a 0.82 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 17 innings. At the plate, Joren Bruun (16 hits), Phillip Jorgensen (15) and Oscar Pravecek (11) all have at least 10 hits. Bruun and Pravecek have 13 and 12 RBIs, respectively.
Rhoss Oliver and Tommy Determan lead Gregory/Burke at the plate with eight hits apiece. However, Grant Thomas leads the team with a .467 batting average and .619 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Coy Determan and Aaron Sundquist have eaten the majority of its innings. Coy Determan, who struck out six in 4 2/3 innings in the first round, has posted a 2.90 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 19 1/3 frames. Sundquist has added a 2.83 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.