West Central 14U qualified for the 14U South Dakota State A tournament after a second place finish in the Region 3A tournament Friday, July 9th through Monday, July 12th.
It wasn’t an easy path for West Central to qualify for state as they lost their opening round game to Madison Gold 2-1 on Friday morning. Both teams scored a run in the third inning, but Madison Gold got the game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning. CJ DenBoer and Jesse Jost had the only two hits in the game for West Central. Caden Alfson pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing an unearned run on two hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Landen Holewa pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing an earned run on a hit and four walks with four strikeouts.
West Central rebounded against Wagner on Saturday. West Central advanced with a 5-1 victory. Wagner scored the first run in the top of the first, but West Central took the lead for good in the bottom of the first with two runs. They added two more in the second and another in the fourth. Alfson had two hits, including a double, and two RBIs. Keaton Vessells had a double and an RBI. Holewa and DenBoer both had singles. Jack Sebert had an RBI. Anthony Lanham pitched six innings allowing an unearned run on no hits and six walks with eight strikeouts. Sebert pitched an inning allowing a hit and a walk.
In their second game on Saturday, West Central defeated Tri-Valley Maroon 15-6 to keep their run going. Tri-Valley Maroon had a 3-1 lead after the first inning. West Central scored three in the top of the second only to see Tri-Valley score three more in the bottom of the second to keep the lead at 6-4. West Central pulled with in a run at 6-5 with another run in the top of the third. West Central then had an eight-run fifth inning with two more in the sixth to get the win. Alfson and two hits, one a double, and two RBIs. Cooper Mulder had two hits and two RBIs. Vessells had two hits, one a double, and an RBI. Jost had a hit and an RBI. Orlando Whiting had a double. Holewa and DenBoer also had a hit. Jost pitched two innings allowing six runs, three earned, on five hits with four walks and a strikeout. Vessells pitched five innings allowing just one hit and five walks with 10 strikeouts.
The momentum continued for West Central on Sunday as they got another win in the tournament, this time over Lennox 10-0. West Central scored in every inning but the third inning and held Lennox to only three hits in the game. Holewa had two hits, including a double, with three RBIs. Jost had two hits and an RBI. Sebert had two hits. Alfson had a double and two RBIs. Vessells had a hit with two RBIs. Cain Grocott had a double, and Mulder had a single. Zach Lorang had an RBI. Sebert pitched all five innings allowing three hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The win put West Central into the state tournament and into the championship game in a rematch with Madison Gold. West Central put together another great offensive game scoring in five of the six innings taking a 12-2 win. Vessells had four hits, including two doubles, with three RBIs. Grocott had a hit and two RBIs. Alfson had a double and an RBI. Mulder finished with a single and an RBI. Jost had a hit, and Nick Lorang had an RBI. Jacob Kono pitched six innings allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.
The win over Madison forced a second championship game to determine who would be the #1 rep for Region 3A. Both teams scored three runs in the first inning. West Central took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Madison scored four times in the top of the sixth inning. West Central got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but Madison got the 7-6 victory. N. Lorang had two doubles and an RBI. Grocott had a double and an RBI. Sebert also had a double and an RBI. N. Lorang pitched three innings allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Grocott pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing four runs, none of them earned, on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Holewa pitched 1 2/3 innings allowing a hit with two strikeouts.