MITCHEL, S.D. — The Crofton Bluejays had everything going for them when the S.D. Amateur Baseball Association state tourney began last week.
They had rebounded from a 2-4 start to the shortened season and rolled to a third-place finish in the South Dakota Central League and then really took off from there.
The Bluejays steamrolled to the District 6B tournament title and rolled out to Mitchell on the heels of a hot run of play when they faced Salem Saturday night in the first round of the Class B tournament at Cadwell Park.
That’s where they ran into Tyler Earls.
Salem’s starting pitcher went the distance striking out five and scattering six hits over a complete-game performance over nine innings and 127 pitches later was a 3-0 win to move into the round of 16 and send Crofton (13-9) packing.
Salem used a two-run eighth inning to pull away and increase its one-run edge to the final margin and hold off Crofton for the win.
Austin Hegge had a team-high two hits while Corey Roach, James Kaiser, Nick Hegge, and Jared Wielbelhaus each added a hit apiece.
Starting pitcher Tyler Priest went 7.2 innings, giving up eight hits while striking out six.
Nate Broehm wrapped things up from the mound for Crofton, striking out two of the four batters he faced while allowing no Salem hitters to reach base.
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