Garretson shuts out Plankinton Bankers to cap opening day at the 2022 state amateur baseball tournament – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — Connecting on the first pitch of the game was only the beginning to what the Garretson Blue Jays had in store for the Plankinton Bankers.

Garretson notched a hit in every inning and scored at least one run in six of the seven played en route to a 13-0 victory on the opening day of the 2022 Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday night at Cadwell Park.

Garretson scored 13 runs on 13 hits in the contest while Plankinton tallied six hits, but posted five errors.

After a quick first inning, Garretson’s Scott Splett helped the Blue Jays get on the board with a triple to right field, which was followed by a groundout by Austin Vanhoe that brought Splett home for the first score of the game. At the top of the third, Dustin Steckler hit a triple to center field and eventually made his way home after a Joey Fitzgerald single that made the score 2-0 Garretson after three.

In the fourth inning with two batters on, Aaron Labrie’s bunt managed to bring home a run after an infield error by Plankinton. Plankinton would commit an error in the outfield in the same inning, resulting in Garretson scoring two more runs and extending their lead to five after four innings.

After a Splett double in the fifth inning and another error by Plankinton in the sixth, Garretson would find themselves with a 9-0 headed into the seventh inning with a chance to end the contest early. The Blue Jays recorded five straight singles in the top of the seventh inning that resulted in four more runs and effectively ended the game.

Splett led the team going 3-for-4 at the plate with four runs scored and two RBIs, but he said it was a complete team effort that led to the group’s first state amateur baseball win since 2020.

“We played well today and we had a fantastic team effort,” Splett said. “Everybody swung well, we had base runners early and we scored in nearly every inning. … We just wanted to get on them early and we understand it’s just helpful that way. After we gained a lead, we never looked behind. It helps a lot getting base runners right away.”

Eight players including Splett scored runs for the Blue Jays, but it was Labrie’s pitching at the mound that also had a residual impact to Wednesday’s outcome. Labrie pitched all seven innings for Garretson, striking out 13 batters and allowing six hits. Other players that contributed were Steckler, who drove in two runs and went 3-for-4 at the plate and Fitzgerald and Nick Bonte, who both had two hits each. Austin Vanhoe, Tayson Swateck and Jesse Brockhouse also had one hit apiece.

For Plankinton, Cole Knippling led the Bankers with two hits while Alex Loes, Travis Gant, Trevor Boyd and Preston Kristensen had one hit apiece. Gant took the loss at the mound, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in four innings. Josh Engquist gave up four earned runs on five hits in three innings. In seven innings pitched, both Gant and Engquist combined to pitch five strikeouts.

Garretson advances to the round of 16 for a game against Madison on Sunday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. The Plankinton Bankers season comes to an end and they end the year with a 16-3 record.

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