Post 32 baseball ready for region tournament

Belle Fourche catcher Evan Vissia tags out a runner at home plate during a varsity Legion baseball game this season. Vissia and his Post 32 teammates are competing in the Region 7 tournament that starts Thursday. Pioneer file photo

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BELLE FOURCHE — Belle Fourche’s varsity Legion baseball team goes to Gregory for the Region 7 tournament slated to begin Thursday.

Post 32’s first game is slated for 5 p.m. Thursday. Belle Fourche will play the winner of the Gregory-Martin contest.

This is a five-team, double-elimination event. The tournament champion will advance to state.

Belle Fourche takes a 9-18 record into the tournament. Post 32 defeated Miles City 16-0 in its three-inning, regular-season finale on Tuesday.

 “It was a great end to the regular season,” Belle Fourche head coach Randy Doran said in describing Tuesday’s game. “It definitely has our team on a very high note.”

Doran said he and the Belle Fourche players have stressed continuous improvement this season.

 He added the Miles City game should provide confidence in all areas.

“It all starts with pitching,” Doran said when asked about the keys to success for the tournament.

Doran said Cody Rakow will likely get the start Thursday.

“When our opponent does put the ball in play, we have to trust and believe that our defense is going to come up and make the routine play,” Doran said.

Doran also cited the importance of stringing together quality at-bats, moving runners, and scoring runs.

Belle Fourche’s main evolution this season has centered on players believing in one another, according to Doran. That belief extends to offense and defense.

“You can go up and down our lineup, all nine,” Doran said. “Even some of the guys that aren’t in the lineup on a given night: if they’re up to bat, they’re going to give a good at-bat.”

Doran said the trust was not really evident last season, especially in early games. He added that has really made the difference in 2021.

What does Doran see as the team’s biggest strengths, and areas of concern, going into the tournament?

“Our team is doing a very good job of understanding the strike zone, and situational awareness,” Doran said. He also cited aggressiveness.

Doran said his biggest area of concern is being able to respond to adversity.

“There’s going to be a point in the game where we’ll be in an adverse situation,” Doran said. “If our team comes together and rallies behind each other like we know they can, we’ll be able to overcome that hurdle.”

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