Playing in their first games of the season, the Dell Rapids Legion team started the defense of their state title with a second place finish at the 2019 Kyle Mueller Memorial First Dakota Classic in Yankton Friday, May 31st through Sunday, June 2nd.
Dell Rapids opened the classic with a 9-2 win over the Yankton Jr Legion team on Friday. Dell Rapids scored two runs in the top of the second, one on an error and one on an RBI double by Keegan Miller. Yankton Jr Legion scored a run in the bottom of the second inning and then tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, but Dell Rapids scored seven times in the top of the sixth inning. Mason Goeken, Thane Hilmoe, Miller, Carter Gullickson, and Eddie Price all had RBI hits in the inning. Jon Wilhelmsen pitched two innings giving up an earned run on no hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Jake Rechtenbaugh pitched 3 2/3 innings giving up an earned run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Gullickson pitched the final 1/3 of an inning.
In the second game of the day on Friday, Dell Rapids earned a four-inning, 14-2 win over Chamberlain. Dell Rapids scored in every inning, including eight times in the top of the third. Ty Wood had two hits and five RBIs in the game. Wilhelmsen had two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs. Miller, Landon Ruesink, Price, and Goeken all had a hit in the game. Logan Stone pitched all four innings giving up two earned runs on two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Dell Rapids earned their third win of the classic in a 16-8 win over Hartington, NE on Saturday. Dell Rapids scored four runs in the bottom of the first and ten more runs in the bottom of the second to jump out to a big lead. Wilhelmsen had two hits and two RBIs. Gullickson had a home run and two RBIs. Miller, Brandon Geraets, Goeken, Josh Deknikker, and Hilmoe all had hits. Josh Eining and Hilmoe also picked up an RBI in the game. Wood pitched 2 1/3 innings giving up four earned runs on no hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Gullickson pitched the final 2 2/3 innings giving up four runs, all unearned, on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The win sent Dell Rapids to the championship game of the classic.
In the championship game, Dell Rapids faced Yankton on Sunday afternoon. Yankton took the title handing Dell Rapids their first loss of the season by a score of 6-2. Yankton scored five of their runs in the bottom of the first inning and added another run in the bottom of the second inning. Dell Rapids pushed across two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Wood hit an RBI single to score Stone, and Gullickson doubled scoring Wood. Price pitched all six innings giving up six runs, but all unearned on three errors, while giving up eight hits and one walk and striking out five batters.
Dell Rapids (3-1) will play their first home game of the season on Wednesday, June 5th, against Humboldt/Hartford at Rickeman Field. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.