• Daily Leader
Down by a run in the bottom of the last
inning, Cimarron River needed to score one run
to force the game to extra innings and keep
their dreams of a state championship alive. But
Timothy Fitzgerald didn’t come to the plate
looking for the tie. He wanted the win.
Fitzgerald sent his second home run of the
game out of the park with a runner on base for
a walk-off home run and a state championship
in a 6-5 win over Emporia.
The Rattlers had a chance to keep the game
close thanks to a heroic catch in the outfield by
Cade Hinkle who stole a home run from
Emporia when he reached up and grabbed a
deep ball to the fence and then went through
Emporia protested, wanting the play to be
counted as a home run. But the officials denied
the request because Hinkle made the catch in
the field of play.
The win earned the Rattler 12-year-olds a
state championship and a ticket to the Midwest
Regional next week at Lamar, Colo. Emporia
will also attend the event since South Dakota
does not compete at the 70-foot base length for
Fitzgerald was named the game’s MVP for his
two home runs and Hinkle won the WOW
Award for his home-run saving catch in the
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