Pierre notched a berth in the Class A state tournament for South Dakota American Legion baseball teams with two wins in the west regional Wednesday. Rain continues to fall and puddles keep growing on the Hyde Stadium diamond this morning, putting the start time in question for the scheduled 4 p.m. loser-out contest between Spearfish and Sturgis, each 1-1. Pierre defeated Rapid City Post 320 and Sturgis, while Sturgis defeated Spearfish and Spearfish sent 320 home.
In the north regional, Aberdeen blasted past Huron 11-1 in seven innings Wednesday, securing a state berth for the Smittys. Perhaps the oddest twist is that two teams — Pierre and Aberdeen — that were the first to win two games in their regionals had losing records in the regular season. Watertown meanwhile is state-bound, too, after eliminating Renner Post 307 and Huron with two losses apiece Wednesday in the north regional.
The south regional saw Brandon Valley eliminate Sioux Falls West and then fall to Mitchell 15-5. Brandon Valley and Mitchell meet again today for the regional title, but both teams are heading to state.
So we now know six of the eight teams that will gather at Fitzgerald Stadium next week to play for the South Dakota championship. Rapid City Post 22 received an automatic berth as host. Pierre, Mitchell, Brandon Valley, Aberdeen and Watertown are in. The winner of the Sturgis-Spearfish game is in. The eighth berth will go to the winner of the playoff at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Falls between the third-place teams from the north and south regionals, Huron and Sioux Falls West. State tournament play opens Wednesday.