WYNOT — A year ago, the Wynot Expos made it to the second round of the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association Class B tourney.
This year, a shortened one due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, saw the Expos start slowly, but then find their mojo late in their South District League schedule. Then they did what they needed to do to finish second in the District 6B tournament and book passage to a return trip as a member of the Class B field.
Behind the pitching excellence of Jackson Sudbeck and a couple of early runs, the Expos found a way to get off to a positive state tournament start Sunday and keep the Elk Point Colt 45’s at bay to hang on for a tough, 2-0 Class B opening round win at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Wynot (11-11) advances to play a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday second-round contest at Cadwell Park against Clark, an 11-3 winner over Four Corners Sunday.
Now the Expos will hope to do one better than last year.
Hopefully there will be some cooling off while staying hot on the diamond.
“It was a hot day, I will tell you what: The humidity was just terrible,” player/manager Lee Heimes said. “We played great defense and our pitching did a great job. We had some timely hits and it was just a great team effort. Everybody stepped up and made plays.
“Clark can hit the ball. They are a good team that can score some runs. We are going to have to do the same thing and keep them in check by playing good defense, get good pitching and timely hits.”
Wynot scored first, when Scott Morrison singled home Dylan Lehr in the bottom of the second inning. Lehr singled to start the frame and then stole second base one out earlier to set the table for Morrison’s scoring knock.
The Expos doubled their lead in the next inning after Jalen Wieseler was struck by the Elk Point pitcher with one out. Then Heimes came up big with a double to right field that brought Wieseler all the way around to score for a 2-0 advantage.
From there, Wynot’s Jackson Sudbeck and the Colt 45’s Derek Quame settled into a pitcher’s duel as neither team could do much the next few innings.
Then came the Elk Point seventh inning and Sudbeck showed how big he has been this summer for the Expos.
Facing Elk Point runners on the corners with one out, he induced Tyler Candor into a double play ball to escape the threat and the 2-0 lead intact.
Sudbeck would lock things down in the next two Wynot at bats to wrap the complete game win and would send the Expos forward to keep their title hopes alive. He finished with four strikeouts against no free passes and allowed seven hits through 115 pitches.
“(The seventh) was huge,” Heimes said. “He got a ground ball to shortstop and it was a big pitch to make at that time and for our defense to step up to turn two.
“A lot of Jackson’s pitches were working. He kept them off balance all game long and the defense played well behind him.”
Lehr and Heimes each had a teamhigh two hits while Sudbeck, Morrison and Landon Wieseler each added a hit apiece.
“We got to find ways to string the hits together more,” Heimes said. “We had seven or eight hits, but we hit some balls hard, but right at people. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don’t. If they had fallen it could have made a bigger inning. To their credit, they made some plays.”
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