Broncos enter District Tournament as top seed
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
The Madison Broncos enter the District 4B amateur baseball tournament this weekend as the top seed. The Broncos were able to secure the top spot by winning the Cornbelt League regular-season title with an 18-0 record and an overall mark of 20-2.|
The District 4B tournament will begin on Friday evening in Dell Rapids. Playing on Friday will be Salem against Harrisburg at 6 p.m., followed by Humboldt-Hartford against Canistota at 8 p.m.
Madison will play its first game at 5 p.m. on Saturday against the winner of the Salem/Harrisburg game. In the second game on Saturday around 7 p.m., Canova (the second seed) will face the winner of the Humboldt-Hartford/Canistota game.
There will be two games on Sunday to wrap up the second round of the tournament. Colman will tangle with Lennox at 5 p.m., and the late game around 7 p.m. will have Flandreau taking on Dell Rapids PBR.
Monday will be an off day with the tournament resuming on Tuesday with the two semifinal games at 6 and 8 p.m.
According to Broncos Manager Trent Miller, there is not a whole lot of advantage in being seeded number one.
"Seeds one through six have a chance to win their first game and get into the state tournament," he said.
Miller said that he thought the Broncos had a good shot at winning the Cornbelt League.
"We had always set it as a goal at the beginning of the season," Miller said. "We are proud of what we accomplished because we beat some very good teams to get it done."
Heading into district action, Greg Biagi leads the Madison team with 35 hits. Rounding out the top five are Brian Miller with 30, Matt Burpee 27, Nick Bird 25 and Mitch McNary 25.
Biagi leads the team in doubles with 13. Brian Miller has nine while Burpee has eight and McNary six.
Burpee leads the team with four home runs and 25 RBIs. Eric Hortness had 23 RBIs. Rounding out the top five are Brian Miller 20, McNary 16 and Bird 15.
Biagi leads the team in runs scored with 32. Burpee has 19 while Jon Waba has scored 16 runs, and Trevor Johnson and Bird have scored 15 runs.
On the mound, Chris Brozik and Matt Schoeberl each have 5-0 records. Brock Selgestad is 4-0 for the season and McNary is 3-0.
Selgestad has recorded 57 strike-outs. Brozik has 36 while Schoeberl has 31 and McNary has 29.
"We have been playing very well as of late because we are scoring a lot of runs every game. Our defense has been very good all year, with the occasional multiple-error game thrown in there, but since we are hitting well and scoring runs, we've been able to make up for that," Trent Miller said. "We will have to keep that up if we expect to win the (district) tournament."
Miller doesn't believe being the top seed adds any extra pressure to the Broncos.
"The guys on our team don't get too worked up before games, because that's just what it is. It's a game," he said. "The dugout stays pretty loose, yet focused on what we are trying to accomplish."
Winning the district championship would mean that the Broncos would not have to play another district champion in the first round of the State Tournament. Cornbelt League teams would not have to face each other in the first round, either.
Miller believes that any of the 10 teams can claim the district title.
"This league is so competitive this year that you have to bring your `A' game every time out," he said.
The tournament will conclude on Sat., Aug. 3, with three games. The first contest starts at 2 p.m. and the championship game is set for 7 p.m.
Six teams from District 4B will qualify for the State B Amateur Baseball Tournament that will be held in Sioux Falls starting on Aug. 7.