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Vermillion captures State B Legion title behind gem from Billy Mount
Jul 25, 2017

By Rich Winter

For most of this afternoon's Class B State American Legion Baseball game between Vermillion and Spearfish, the Vermillion squad looked in control. With Billy Mount, the recently graduated Vermillion senior with an ACT score of over 30 on the mound with his 87 mph fastball, Vermillion looked like they were going to be tough to beat. 


Post 1 scratched out two runs in the third inning then added another when Trey Hage scored to give Vermillion a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 7th. 


But, Spearfish, Post 164 is no slouch, and through a couple of tough balls to the middle infield, Spearfish managed to load the bases. 


Into the batters box stepped Spearfish star, Jaxon Rosencrantz, who entered the tournament with an out-of-this-world, .500 batting average.


Having worked the count full, with one out and the bases loaded,Rosencrantz turned on a Mount pitch, and with the crack of the bat and the wind blowing out, for a moment, it looked like Spearfish might do the unthinkable, and win with a walk-off grand slam.


But, Vermillion center-fielder, Brandon Mockler had other ideas. In the post-game interview, Mockler made no bones about it that there was no way that ball was hitting the ground.


Having missed the State Legion tournament in 2015 with a torn ACL and having lost to Milbank, the eventual 2016 champ, you get the feeling from Mockler's statemens that he would have ran through the center-field wall, any wall, to catch that ball.


At the crack of the bat, Mockler took off, gathered himself on the warning track and leaped up to snag the ball. Had he not gotten it, surely three runs would have scored and the game would have gone to extra innings. 


Instead, one run scored and with runners on first and third, Mount induced an easy ground ball to give Vermillion a 3-1 win as Post 1 lay claim to a Class B legion title. 


Great tournament for Vermillion who did not lose a game. 

Billy Mount was named the MVP of the tournament, picking up two wins, recording an ERA in the 3.5 range, batting .357 with a homer and a double. 

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