Pankonen was a warrior for Quarriers at State Baseball Tourney
Quarriers junior led team to State “B” Baseball title
DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Brayden Pankonen knows that as a relief pitcher, it’s important to have a certain mind set no matter what the situation. “You can either get put in an absolute terrible situation, or an OK one with only a runner on first something. You’ve just got to be up for the challenge no matter what it is.” Pankonen said.
And that’s exactly the position the Dell Rapids Junior was faced with in their State “B” Championship game against Dakota Valley. Pankonen came into the game in the 2nd inning and didn’t give up a run in over eight innings and collected ten strikeouts along the way.
And he also got the job done in the batter’s box with a 2-RBI double in the 11th inning to help ice the 11-5 win and the championship. “I just kind of have a mindset of time this guy up and get on base. Let the people behind me do the work and get me in.” Pankoken said.
His coach Danny Miller said they needed that spark against a tough Dakota Valley team, and Pankonen was the answer. “It’s kind of how Dakota Valley works, they did a good job. Pretty disciplined at the plate the first two games, getting guys on, and we kind of wanted to take them out of that. So we got a strike-thrower in there, a crafty strike-thrower, and man did he give us a game.” Miller said. “He wants the ball, he wanted it today and he just worked. It was so much fun to watch him compete, he’s a competitor. Everything he does, he competes, and he competes hard.” Miller said.
But Pankonen said his entire team works hard and when they get momentum on their side watch out. “Hitting, and even just in the field it’s all contagious. We do something good, it just keeps going around and fires each other up. It’s always a good thing once we get a couple of hits in a row.” Pankonen said.
Pankonen still has a full year of athletics yet at Dell Rapids where he excels on the gridiron and basketball court as well. He said it’s on to the next season, but he’ll miss playing with the seniors on the team. “It’s basketball season now. That’s what it means to me. You know, it was a fun time. It’s going to be sad not playing with Austin, Landon, Aiden, all of the seniors just having them around. Especially for me, I’m so close with all of them. It’s just going to be sad mainly that the season is over, not having them anymore.” Pankonen said.
In Sioux Falls, Cooper Seamer, Dakota News Now.
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