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Smittys edge Yankton, fall to Huron at Dakota Classic

Andrew Ristau-Richardson fouls off a pitch during a game earlier this season against Pierre at Fossum Field. Ristau-Richardson had an RBI single in a game against Huron in a tournament in Sioux Falls on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 6/4/2023

SIOUX FALLS – The Aberdeen Smittys split a pair of contests at the Dakota Classic in Sioux Falls on Saturday, winning a close contest 1-0 against Yankton Post 12, while falling 7-4 to Huron Post 7.

Runs were hard to come by in the Smittys’ win against Yankton. The Smittys got on the board early in the first inning when Phillip Zens singled on a fly ball to center field, scoring Casey Vining.

From there, both teams dug in defensively, as the Smittys offense tallied just six hits, compared to Yankton’s one hit. Zens led the Smittys on the mound, pitching all seven innings, allowing zero runs and one hit, while striking out seven and walking two.

Offensively, Drew Salfrank led the Smittys with three hits, while Vining, Zens, and Cooper Eisenbeisz each had one. Mac Ryken had Yankton’s lone hit.

In game two, the Smittys fell behind early in loss to Huron.

Huron scored four runs in the top of the first inning to build an early lead before the Smittys scored two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Salfrank scored on a ground out to second base by Jaiden Smith before Zens drove in Vining on an RBI single, cutting the Huron lead in half at 4-2.

However, Huron responded with a pair of runs in the second inning and one more run in the third to extend its lead to 7-2. The Smittys failed to add more runs until the bottom of the seventh. Zane Backous scored on an RBI single by Andrew Ristau-Richardson, while Salfrank scored on a wild pitch. However, the Smittys would not get any closer, as Huron finished out the game to claim the victory.

The Smittys had six hits, while Huron had just four. Salfrank and Zens finished with two hits apiece, while Ristau-Richardson and Backous each had one.

On the mound, Smith pitched three innings, allowing seven runs on three hits, while striking out two. Backous pitched four innings in relief, allowing zero runs on just one hit and striking out three.

The Smittys, 15-8 on the season, continue Dakota Classic action today at 1 p.m. against Bennington Post 266 out of Nebraska.

Aberdeen Smittys 100 000 0 – 1 6 0

Yankton 000 000 0 – 0 1 0

Phillip Zens and Andrew Ristau-Richardson; Matthew Sheldon, Mark Kathol (6) and Jace McCorkell.

Aberdeen Smittys 200 000 2 – 4 6 3

Huron 421 000 0 – 7 4 3

Jaiden Smith, Zane Backous (4) and Andrew Woehl; Mason Davis and J. Pedersen. 2B – Aberdeen Smittys, Zane Backous; Huron, Logan Leyendecker, Tanner Gilbert.

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