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Salem moves past Four Corners in back-and-forth first-round amateur state tournament game

A late RBI single from Cole Cheeseman propelled the Salem Cubs over Four Corners in the first round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament on Friday night.

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Salem's Jacob VanBerge slides into home plate as Four Corners catcher Noah Hainy attempts to tag him out during a game in the first round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament at Cadwell Park on Friday, August 5, 2022.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Cole Cheeseman’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave the Salem Cubs the lead for good over Four Corners and lifted the Cubs to a 5-4 win in the first round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park.

Salem jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Tyler Cleveland scored on an error and Cheeseman scored on a wild pitch. Four Corners cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout from Nathan Hainy that scored Andrew Coverdale.

Noah Hainy smacked a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth to knot things up at two, but the Cubs took the lead right back in the sixth. Four Corners finally claimed its first lead of the night in the bottom of the sixth after Nathan Hainy scored on a passed ball and Andrew McCloud came around to score on a grounder to short from Justin Lester.

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Four Corners catcher Noah Hainy catches a foul ball during a game against the Salem Cubs in the first round of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament at Cadwell Park on Friday, August 5, 2022.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

Salem scored one run in the top of the seventh to even things back up before Cheeseman’s clutch RBI single in the eighth inning.

“I was seeing [the ball] pretty well,” said Cheeseman after his 2-for-4 performance. “I feel like I kinda got my job done today.”

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A multitude of hitters in the Salem lineup got their job done, as eight of the nine batters recorded at least one hit, with the team tallying 11 total.

“It’s great when you can get a rally started with any part of your lineup and that’s kinda what we did today,” Cheeseman said.

Salem pitchers also did their respective jobs as Isaac Anderson and Trey Randel limited Four Corners to only four hits and combined for 11 strikeouts.

For Four Corners, Noah Hainy finished 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and one run scored, while Nathan Hainy fired a scoreless inning on the bump in the top of the ninth. Josh Davies started for Four Corners and allowed three runs, only two of which were earned, despite allowing nine hits and two walks in his 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Four Corners season ends at 10-8 with the loss, while Salem makes it past the first round once again and advances to play the winner of the final Friday night game between Dimock/Emery and the Hartford/Humboldt Gamecocks on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Cadwell Park.

“We've found a way to get past the first round the last couple of years,” Cheeseman said. “It's really good to start kinda making that kind of a tradition going forward of not only making it to the state tournament, but playing more than one game in the state tournament.”

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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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