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Canova tops Tabor in first round of amateur state tourney on extra-inning walk off

Canova's offense came to life late in the game and the Gang rallied to take down Tabor and advance to the second round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament.

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Canova pitcher Derek Miller throws a pitch during a 2022 South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament game against the Tabor Bluebirds on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Cadwell Park.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — After trailing 2-0 for the first seven and a half innings of the game, Canova needed a little bit of magic.

The Gang got the magic in the form of a walk-off victory in the 10th inning to knock off the Tabor Bluebirds, 3-2, in the first round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park.

Derek Miller got the nod for Canova, while American Legion call-up Riley Rothschadl started for Tabor. It was the Bluebirds who got out to an early lead, when Tyler Edler plated Rothschadl on an RBI single in the top of the first. Rothschadl then tripled in the top of the second to drive in Chase Kortan and extend the lead to 2-0.

After that, Derek Miller settled in. While he scattered nine hits across his nine innings, he was able to escape danger every time after the second inning and finished only allowing the pair of runs, keeping his team in the game.

“It’s kind of my deal where if you’re gonna get me, you’re gonna get me early,” Miller said after the game.

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That 2-0 lead looked like it would be all Rothschadl would’ve needed on the mound, but due to the Legion pitch-count limit, he had to be pulled with two outs in the seventh after throwing 108 pitches with only three hits, three walks, eight strikeouts and one standing ovation as he was taken off the mound.

“He was shutting us down. He wasn’t really giving us anything and we weren’t getting anything off of him,” Canova player-manager Garrett Gassman said of Rothschadl. “If they don’t have the pitch-count [limit], I think the game probably ends a little differently than it did,”

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Tabor pitcher Riley Rothschadl throws a pitch during a 2022 South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament game against the Canova Gang on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Cadwell Park.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

With Rothschadl off the hill, Canova’s offense showed signs of life. Gassman got the scoring started with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, and after a strikeout and a walk, the Gang loaded the bases with two outs but failed to produce another run.

The Gang struck again in the bottom of the ninth when Gassman walked with two outs and the bases loaded to knot things up at two. But once again, Canova left the bases loaded, forcing extra innings.

After stranding runners on second and third in the top of the 10th innings, back-to-back singles opened up the home half of the frame and Tim Gassman came through with the walk-off hit to send Canova to the next round.

Tabor’s season comes to a close at 8-7, while Canova advances to take on Lennox Only One on Friday. That second-round contest is set to take place Monday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Cadwell Park.

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Canova shortstop Riley Genzlinger throws to first base during a 2022 South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament game against the Tabor Bluebirds on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Cadwell Park.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

“This time of year a walk off is huge because it means you get to keep playing,” Garrett Gassman said of the win. “It’s one of those endings that obviously gives you a little bit of a boost, but hopefully it’s something we can build off of.”

Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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