Madison blitzes previous unbeaten Howard to win trip to Class B state baseball

The win — the Bulldogs’ sixth in a row — sends Madison back to the Class B tournament for the second consecutive season with an 11-6 record.

052423 Reg baseball Madison run scored.JPG
Madison's Calvin Kelsey (3) celebrates scoring a run with his teammates during a Region 2B high school baseball playoff game on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Canova.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

CANOVA, S.D. — An eight-run second inning allowed fourth-seeded Madison to take control in the Region 2B state-qualifying game on Wednesday and claim the final Class B state high school baseball spot with a 10-2 win over top-seeded and previously undefeated Howard.

The win — the Bulldogs’ sixth in a row — sends Madison back to the Class B tournament for the second consecutive season with an 11-6 record. They will face two-time defending champion Dell Rapids in the final quarterfinal on Monday, May 29 at Sioux Falls Stadium.

On the mound, Madison pitcher Lucas Mork locked up the Howard offense, with a complete-game effort on the mound, allowing seven hits, two runs and striking out 12 without a walk. Mason Kennington had a double and three RBIs, while Braxton Bjorkland and Jordan Pedersen each scored two runs.

With the big offensive inning, the Bulldogs chased Howard starter Griffin Clubb in the second inning, after Clubb recorded only five outs, while allowing three hits, eight runs (three earned) and three walks. Luke Koepsell pitched the remainder of the game, allowing four hits, two runs and striking out five in 5 1/3 innings.

Koepsell and Colby Claussen each had scored runs for Howard, while Kade Shumaker and Claussen each picked up RBIs. Kolt Koepsell, Jack Neises and Clubb each had doubles but the Tigers struck out 12 times as a team.


Seven area players were named to the first team, with five on the second team.

In the earlier game on Wednesday, Howard reached the final round of the region tournament with a 9-0 win over Wolsey-Wessington/Miller/Wessington Springs. Neises pitched a complete-game two-hitter with five strikeouts and Clubb had a home run and drove in three runs. Howard’s season ends at 10-1.

Madison reached the region final with a 14-4 win over Warner/Ipswich/Northwestern, as Bjorklund drove in four runs and Ben Brooks earned the win on the mound with nine strikeouts in five innings of work.

Class B state tournament

At Sioux Falls Stadium

Quarterfinals — Monday, May 29

Upper bracket

Redfield Area (10-1) vs. Tea Area (17-5), 11 a.m.

Dakota Valley (14-1) vs. Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian/White Lake (9-2), 1 p.m.


Lower bracket

Bon Homme/Avon (14-0) vs. Rapid City Christian (5-6), 5 p.m.

Dell Rapids (18-2) vs. Madison (11-6), 7 p.m.

Semifinals — Tuesday, May 30

Upper bracket winners, noon.

Lower bracket winners, 2:30 p.m.

Championship — Tuesday, May 30

Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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