WATERTOWN, S.D.(Public Opinion)- The Aberdeen Smittys struck first in a best-of-three American Legion Baseball playoff series on Thursday night at Watertown Stadium.
The Smittys (26-16) combined 16 hits with a strong pitching performance by Zane Backous on the way to a 15-4 win over Watertown Post 17 (32-31).
The Smittys scored four runs in the top of the second inning, added three in the fifth, five in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Backous took a shutout into the bottom of the fifth and finished one out short of a complete game in the seven-inning battle.
Casey Vining had three hits, including this three-run homer in the sixth.(Brent Nathaniel with KWAT with the call)
Vining drove in four runs for Aberdeen. Drew Salfrank had four hits, Phillip Zens three and Jaiden Smith and Cooper Eisenbeisz two each. Smith had three runs batted in.
Watertown, which committed four errors that led to five unearned runs, tallied 10 hits. Drew Denzer, Jack Heesch, Carson Mutschler and Nathan Briggs had two each. One of Denzer’s hits was a double.
The series concludes Friday with one or two games starting at 2 p.m. The winner qualifies for the state Class A tournament July 25-29 at Yankton. You can watch the game on the KWAT Radio Youtube page.