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Nate Scieszinski’s walk-off single propels Tabor into Class B Legion state championship game

Nate Scieszinski’s walk-off single sent Tabor one step closer to a state championship on Monday. Scieszinski’s single into left field plated Dawson Bietz as Tabor rallied for a 4-3 win over Vermillion in the Class B Legion state baseball tournament.

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Nate Scieszinski, of Tabor Post 183, top left, is lifted off the ground by teammate Dustin Honomichl (21) as Kaden Kozak (8), Nolan Carda (behind Kozak) and Kaleb Kubal (20) join in the celebration after Scieszinski drove home the winning run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh during Monday’s game against Vermillion at the South Dakota American Legion Class B State Tournament at Locke-Karst Field in Groton. (John Davis / sdsportscene.com)

GROTON -- Nate Scieszinski’s walk-off single sent Tabor one step closer to a state championship on Monday.

Scieszinski’s single into left field plated Dawson Bietz as Tabor rallied for a 4-3 win over Vermillion in the Class B Legion state baseball tournament.

Tabor will play Redfield at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the state championship. Tabor is the last undefeated team and Redfield would need to win twice to win the title.

On Monday, Tabor trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh. Trent Herrboldt and Bietz were hit by pitches to advance to first and second. After Carter Uecker flew out, Kaden Kozak’s RBI single plated Herrboldt for the game-tying run.

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Nolan Carda, of Tabor Post 183, right, dives for third base as Connor Saunders, of Vermillion Post 1, center, reaches to make a tag during Monday’s game at the South Dakota American Legion Class B State Tournament at Locke-Karst Field in Groton. Carda was out on the play. In the foreground for Vermillion is Jake Jensen. (John Davis / sdsportscene.com)

On the very next pitch, Scieszinski’s single into left field sent Bietz home and into the championship game.

In the sixth inning, Vermillion broke a 3-3 tie as Jack Kratz scored on an error by Kaleb Kubal. After Tabor went down in order, Vermillion loaded the bases with two outs. But Drew Thelen was caught stealing home plate, which kept the score at 3-2 and set up Tabor’s late-game heroics.

Tabor sported a 2-0 lead after the first inning, with Nolan Carda and Nolan Dvorak driving in runs. The Bluebirds couldn’t extend the lead as Vermillion’s Jake Jensen pitched five scoreless innings.

In the third frame, Vermillion’s Connor Saunders’ RBI groundout made it 2-1. Kratz’s solo homer in the fourth evened the score at 2-2.

Dustin Honomichl earned the win for Tabor. He struck out three batters, surrendered four hits, two earned runs and walked one batter in his 5.1-inning start. Herrboldt threw 1.2 innings of relief. He struck out two batters, allowed one hit and zero runs.

Carda finished with two hits, while Riley Rothschadl added a hit. Jack Kratz led Vermillion with two hits. Jensen fanned three batters, allowed seven hits and four earned runs in 6.1 innings.

Vermillion lost in the first round against Redfield, 5-4. But it rattled off wins over Big Stone City (14-0) and Lake Norden/Badger (8-4) through its next two games.

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For Tabor, it’s defeated Big Stone City (12-0), Redfield (5-3) and Madison (13-0) en route to the title berth. If Redfield tops Tabor in the first game, the second game will begin around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Redfield defeated Madison, 9-3, on Monday to advance to the championship.

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