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Tea 14U team comes home with fourth place at State A Tournament

Last Friday, July 21 the Tea 14U baseball team began play in the SD VFW State A Tournament held in Elk Point Jefferson.

Tea faced off against Milbank in the opening round and behind strong pitching from Bryson Prussman, Tea won 6-0 to advance.

Prussman was dominant on the mound, as the right-handed pitcher rang up 10 strikeouts. Prussman surrendered two hits and zero runs over five innings while walking one.

Tea opened the scoring in the bottom of the third thanks to two singles. The Titans got on the board when Ethan Knettel singled, scoring one run.

Prussman, Brandt Smolik, Landyn Johnson, and Knettel each collected one hit for Tea. Johnson provided a pop in the middle of the lineup, and led the Titans with two runs batted in. He went 1-for-3 on the day. Tyson Gilbert stole two bases.

In their second match-up at State, the Titans took on Mobridge and suffered the 8-3 on Saturday, July 22.

Mobridge took a 4-0 lead early and the Titans were unable to get back in it.

Tyson Gilbert pitched five innings in relief for Tea. He gave up five hits and four runs (zero earned) while, striking out one and walking four. Riley Clark stepped on the mound first for the Titans. He gave up five hits and four runs (two earned) over two innings, striking out two and walking one.

Gilbert led Tea with three hits in four at bats from the leadoff position. Gilbert also stole two bases.

The loss put the Titans in a match-up against Belle Fourche for third and fourth place.

Even though Tea collected 12 hits to Belle Fourche’s seven, they still fell 10-7 on Sunday, giving them fourth place at State and Belle Fourche third.

Knettel collected three hits in four at bats in the loss. Knettel doubled in the first inning, singled in the third inning, and singled in the fifth inning.

Tea got on the board in the top of the first inning after Knettel doubled, and Zach Pies singled, each scoring one run.

Belle Fourche took the lead in the bottom of the first inning after Trig Thomsen singled, Liam Hamilton walked, and Tate Thomsen singled, each scoring one run.

Tea then took the lead back, 4-3, in the top of the third thanks to two errors but Belle Fourche tied the game in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a ground out by Raif Parmeter, and a single by Graham VanderBoom.

In the top of the sixth, Tea broke up the tie when Tyson Gilbert singled, scoring one run. Then an error followed to extend the Titans’ lead to 7-5.

Belle Fourche flipped the game on its head in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on two hits to take a 10-7 lead. The biggest blow in the inning was a walk by Hamilton that drove in two.

Knettel began the game on the mound for the Titans. The starting pitcher surrendered four hits and five runs (two earned) over four innings, striking out five and walking four.

Tea recorded 12 hits in the game. Pies went 1-for-4 at the plate as the center fielder led the team with two runs batted in. Avery Hangman and Landyn Johnson each collected multiple hits.

Winning the 14U State Title was West Central who defeated Mobridge, 6-5, in the Championship game. Vermillion took fifth and Madison Black sixth.


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