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Brandon Valley cruises on day one of Region 2A tourney
By By Justin Wulf
For the Challenger

July 30. 2013 10:37AM
Top-seeded Valley Springs Post 131 didn’t waste much time taking care of business on Tuesday, defeating Yankton 7-4 to open the Region 2A Legion baseball tournament at Harmodon Park in a game that wasn’t close until Post 12 made a run in the ninth inning.

Yankton didn’t get on the board until the eighth and scratched across three runs in the final frame before bringing the tying run to the plate. Unfortunately for fifth-seeded Post 12, that batter came to the plate with two outs after a pair of baserunning blunders helped slow the late rally.

With the win, Brandon Valley (28-18) went on to face Mitchell in Wednesday’s semifinals with the winner clinching a state tournament berth as the top two teams in the region advance.

“They were just nickel and diming us, but that’s the way baseball goes,” said Valley Springs coach Grant Hieb. “They had to score a lot of runs, so I was just hoping we’d get three outs before they got six runs.”

Other than the last two innings, the game pretty much belonged to Post 131, which jumped out to an early lead on Yankton starter Zach Benjamin. With a series of patient approaches at the plate, Valley Springs was able to chase Post 12’s ace in less than three innings while tagging him with three runs on three hits and five walks.

Two of those free passes set up the top seed’s first run as Jacob Bruget scored on a wild throw down to third on a stolen base attempt in the second. Jacob Adams added an RBI double in the third while Lucas Lunstra followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 3-0 and signal Benjamin’s exit.

“He started having a few things going against him and he was really able to recover from that,” said Yankton coach Trey Krier. “With the nature of the region (tournament) we couldn’t just let him sit out there and wear one because he’s going to have to bounce back at some point if we’re going get to the state tournament.”

Meanwhile, Adams tagged his second RBI double of the game the next inning – a small consolation for snapping his four-game home run streak against Yankton (16-19) that dates back to the high school season.

“He’s a big bat for us,” said Valley Springs catcher Jacob Mulder. “Even as a team, if he keeps hitting, it’s contagious and we all keep hitting.”

After another Post 12 error made it a 5-0 game in the fourth, Post 131 added two more runs in the sixth with a Jared Mulder RBI single and a dropped flyball in right field.

That would prove to be more than enough for Post 131 starter Nic Peterson, who tossed six scoreless innings. Jacob Mulder credited the start to Peterson locating his fastball inside and out while mixing in a nice curveball.

VS – 012 202 00x – 7 11 3
Yankton – 000 000 013 – 4 13 3

VS – Nic Peterson, Derek Johnson (7) and Jacob Mulder.
Yankton – Zach Benjamin, Austin Johnson (3), Landon Withrow (6) and Kaleb Bromley.





Valley Springs leftfielder Lucas Lunstra catches a fly ball before it hits the ground in the team's 7-4 win in last week's Region 2A Tournament opener. Photo by Wilma Kirkeby



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