Kernels edged by Roosevelt 7-6
Mitchell Kernel baseball coach Luke Norden best described his team’s 7-6 loss to region-foe Sioux Falls Roosevelt in extras Thursday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
“We kind of let one slip away,” he said after the Kernels held a two-run lead with two outs in the seventh, but could not close out the win.
Roosevelt’s Jake Bear came up to the plate with two men on base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Mitchell (6-3) clung to a 6-4 lead. Bear hit a single up the middle, which got past the gloves of shortstop Landon Neugebauer and second baseman Elijah Pommer. The ball dribbled into centerfield, where Jed Schmidt overran the ball, allowing Roosevelt’s Kyle Schroeder and Josh Baumgart to score.
The runs breathed new life into the Rough Riders, who seemed all but certain to be headed to a loss. Roosevelt took the lead for good in the top of the eighth on a wild pitch, which scored Seth Bjordal. Bjordal reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a single to right field by Schroeder.
“I hope we grew up a little bit,” Roosevelt coach Joel Sage said about playing in a tight game. “We stayed positive and we made it happen late in the game. Mitchell got a little over excited and we took advantage. In wood bat baseball, you see so many one-run games, so you have to stay composed.”
Matt Larson was handed the loss for the Kernels. He pitched three innings in relief, allowing three runs on three hits. Derek Miller started for Mitchell, throwing five innings and allowing four runs on six hits.
Tyler Mitzel got the win for the Rough Riders. He threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, while not allowing a hit. Baumgart, who is committed to play baseball at Creighton next year, got the start for Roosevelt, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing six runs (one earned) on seven hits.
“We played better than we did on Tuesday against O’Gorman,” Norden said. “We had our opportunities and hopefully, we will learn from what happened at the end of the game. We had some good at-bats from some guys, and we had other guys who showed up and just weren’t prepared. But when we want to get something done, we need everyone in the lineup prepared to get it done.”
Mitchell was led by the top of its lineup, which featured Larson, Schmidt, Neugebauer and Dylanger Pierson. The Kernels relied on Schmidt and Larson to get things started when they needed it.
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Larson got a two-out walk and Schmidt then legged out an infield single. Neugebauer popped up and Baumgart looked to have a beat on it, but Baumgart misplayed the ball and it hit the ground just inches from the first base foul line. Larson scored on the misplay by Baumgart and Schmidt came into score after an overthrow by the defense.
After the hoopla, Pierson laced a single to centerfield, scoring Neugebauer and tying the game at 3.
Pierson went 2-for-4 with a walk on the night, while Larson went 2-for-3 with a walk. Schmidt was 2-for-3, while Neugebauer reached base twice. Schmidt, Larson and Pierson earned six of Mitchell’s seven hits.
“We did really well at the plate compared to our last game against O’Gorman,” Pierson said. “We battled against a very aggressive pitcher in Baumgart. He has really good control, but we showed that we could hang with him.”
The Kernels take the field again at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Huron. Roosevelt (4-1) plays O’Gorman Monday in Sioux Falls.