SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Dubuque County’s reign as the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball champion came to an end this morning, but not without a seventh-inning comeback attempt.
Renner, S.D., batted around in two separate innings en route to a 10-8 victory in an elimination game at the eight-team tournament in Sioux Falls.
Dubuque County scored four times in the top of the seventh inning and had the potential tying run on second base before falling just short.
Dubuque County, which last season became the first Iowa team to advance to the American Legion World Series since 1986, went 0-2 at the regional tournament after winning a state title for the second straight season this spring.
Renner batted around in the bottom of the first inning while taking a quick 3-0 lead. The Royals’ rally included just one hit, but four walks and a hit batsman. Daulton Vanderloo opened the scoring with a two-run single just over the third-base bag, and Chase Merrill drove in another run with a two-out bases-loaded walk.
Dubuque County got one of those runs back in the next half-inning. Haris Hoffman reached on a one-out throwing error and came around to score when Matt Maiers ripped a two-out double to the wall in left field.
The Royals added another run in the third. Andy Moen walked, Vanderloo drew a hit batsman and Reece Arbogast advanced both runners with a bunt. Zakk Evers drove in the run with a well-placed chopper over the mound that Reid Rausch fielded for the out.
Renner chased Dubuque County starter Casey Perrenoud in the fourth. Sam Stukel reached on an infield hit, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on C.J. Stukel’s bad-hop single into left-centerfield to make it 5-1.
Renner tacked on four more runs in the inning while sending a total of 10 batters to the plate. Moen drove in a run with an infield single, two more came across on Vanderloo’s base hit to left field and an error gave Renner a ninth run.
Dubuque County came right back the following inning, after Cody Deardorff walked and Maiers drew a hit batsman to open a rally. Matty Schmitz delivered a two-out, two-run triple to left-centerfield, and Rausch followed with an RBI double over the left fielder’s head to make it 9-4.
Renner wrapped up its scoring in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Merrill.
Dubuque County kept battling in the seventh.
Charlie Jaeger led off with a walk but was forced out on Nick Offerman’s fielder’s choice. Carter Kluesner followed with a base hit, and Rausch drilled another single to left field to drive in a run. Kluesner scampered home on a wild pitch, and Wil Courtney doubled inside the left-field line to drive in another run and pull Dubuque County within three.
Hoffman extended the inning with a base hit, and Riley Reed doubled inside the right field line to make it a two-run game and put the potential tying run on second base. But Maiers fouled out to the catcher to end the game.