The West Central 16U baseball team came home with a third place finish at the 2021 South Dakota VFW 16U Class A State Tournament held in Madison Friday, August 6th through Sunday, August 8th.
West Central opened the tournament on Friday with a big 15-3 win in six innings over Madison White. West Central had a seven-run second inning and five-run sixth inning as their two big innings in the game. They pounded 14 hits led by Dalton Mulder with four hits, two doubles, and four RBIs. Dylan Sherard also had four hits and an RBI. Camden McDonald, Justin Zirpel, and Dyaln Stromer all had a hit and two RBIs in the game. Brayden Odegaard had a double and an RBI. Derrick Renken had a double, and Cade Vander Woude had a hit. Owen Heath pitched all six innings allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
In the semifinal round on Saturday, West Central tried to put together a late rally against Dakota Valley, but Dakota Valley held on for a 6-4 victory. Dakota Valley scored a single run in the first, second, and third innings for a 3-0 lead. West Central got a run back in the bottom of the third, but Dakota Valley scored three more times in the top of the fifth to push the lead to 6-1. West Central had a three-run bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t quite complete the come back.
Mulder had two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Renken had a double and an RBI. Odegaard finished with a single and an RBI, and Sherard also had a single in the game. Andrew Zimmer pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing six runs, five earned, on 12 hits with two walks and a strikeout. Renken pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing just one hit along with two strikeouts.
West Central survived a late push by Wagner in the 3rd/4th place game on Sunday winning 9-7 to take home third place. West Central scored first in the bottom of the first inning to lead 1-0. After a Wagner run in the top of the second tied the game, West Central pushed across three runs in the bottom of the second inning. They would add three more in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-1 lead. Wagner rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-5, but West Central got two big insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Those two runs were just enough for the win as Wagner scored two times in the top of the seventh.
Stromer had three hits and three RBIs to lead West Central. Sherard and Renken both had a single and an RBI. McDonald, Zirpel, and Landon Holewa each had one hit. Vander Woude had an RBI. Mulder pitched five innings allowing two runs, neither of them earned, on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Renken pitched 2/3 of an inning allowing three runs, all unearned, on a hit with three walks and a strikeout. Holewa pitched 1 1/3 innings allowing two earned runs on a hit with five walks and two strikeouts.