STURGIS — The Sturgis Post 33 Titans season came to an end at the South Dakota Senior Legion baseball region playoffs on July 19, at Hyde Stadium in Pierre.
The Titans faced Rapid City Post 22 in the first game and fell 13-3. They battled back against Rapid City Post 320, but came up short with a 17-7 loss.
“The 2019 season was full of fun and the occasional mix of inconsistencies and missed opportunities,” said Wade Huntington, Post 33s head coach. “Winning over 60% of our games this season was a big step, but of our 12 losses, just a bit more consistency would have turned at least a few of those losses into wins and the team reaching more goals.”
Overall the program has been improving greatly, and this year was the best in many years. The Post 33 Titans ended the season with a record of 21-12.
The last few years, the Titans have increased the level of competition, and the players continue to work hard and see even more success on the field and it reflects in the number of wins and the quality baseball they can play, the coach said.
“Many people might look at our win over Post 22 as the major highlight, and while beating a quality program like Post 22 is always exciting, the fact we increased our level of competition and increased our number of wins this season is the bigger measure of our success,” Huntington said.
The junior Legion team also had a good season.
“Yes, our numbers were tight, but fielding two quality and competitive teams from Sturgis on the Legion baseball field is outstanding,” said Huntington.
Another measure that the team and coachers were proud of as a program is the involvement and recognition within the community.
“It’s fantastic and very much appreciated when local businesses and individuals recognize our local baseball teams and athletes. Building and operating a quality baseball program takes quite a bit of dedication, ingenuity, and of course, some money,” Huntington said.
The season was filled with tournaments, and the team was champion at the Spearfish Tellinghuisen Tournament and the Bolin Memorial Wood Bat Tournament in Douglas, Wyo.
The Sturgis community, including many businesses and the city parks and recreation staff were instrumental in our success.
“Our following on social media has also been outstanding, and in a smaller community like Sturgis, it takes nearly everyone to make it all happen, and the past couple years have seen improvements in every measure of building a quality program,” Huntington said.
The Legion team will be losing four seniors that will be missed next year, Nick Anderson, Carl Nash, Devin Odle, and Alec Keffeler.
Post 33 Titan team members continuing at the next level of college baseball include: Joshua West, at Dakota State University, Anderson, SDSU, and Olde, South Dakota School of Mines.
Individual records for the season include: Most home runs: David Anderson, 2.
Most winning pitcher: Gage Murphey 7-3, Tristan Walter 4-2, Devin Odle 3-2, and Colton Cruickshank 3-1.
Most RBIs: David Anderson, 28, Most scores: Ridge Inhofer with 34.
Wade Huntington completed his third season in Post 33 Legion ball and has been playing, coaching, and/or managing baseball every year for the last 46 years.
Huntington has high expectations for his athletes in the classroom, on the field, and in everyday life.
He enjoys sharing the game of baseball to compete and help teach life lessons. Responsibility, respect, attention to detail, perfect practice, making adjustments, persistence, dedication, confidence, toughness, both mentally and physically, and hard work are so important to success in both baseball and life.
“Helping a young man to succeed is why I coach, and while competing and winning baseball games is important, developing quality young men to enhance the world we all share is the real measure of any coach, the staff, and the program as a whole,” Huntington said.
To read all of today's stories, Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.