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Mitchell Black wins teener state title

Back row (from left): Assistant Coach Evan Mastel, Carter Max, Carter Cavanaugh, Connor Muehler, Baley Miller, Carson Max, Tate Larson, Head Coach Dustin Wheeler. Front row (from left): Briggs Havlik, Kiel Nelson, Jordan Dirkes, Adam Loes, Drew Kitchens, Koby Larson. (James Cimburek/Yankton Press & Dakotan)1 / 2
Mitchell Black right fielder Kiel Nelson holds up his glove after catching the final out of his team’s 11-7 victory over Watertown in the championship of the South Dakota State VFW Teener 13-14 Majors baseball tournament on Sunday at Yankton’s Riverside Field. (James Cimburek/Yankton Press & Dakotan)2 / 2

YANKTON -- The Mitchell Black Majors baseball team went 5-0 over the weekend and topped Watertown in the championship game to win the South Dakota State VFW Teener 13-14 Majors baseball tournament Sunday at Riverside Field in Yankton.

After winning its opening two games Friday, Mitchell topped Watertown and Yankton Saturday to advance to the championship game in a rematch against Watertown Sunday. Mitchell won the title game 11-7 with pitcher Baley Miller picking up his second win in two days on the mound.

"These kids definitely earned this after playing more than 50 games and with the practice schedule they have had," Mitchell Black coach Dustin Wheeler said. "It was great to see their hard work pay off."

Mitchell was led by Koby Larson, who finished with three hits, including two doubles and an RBI, while Kiel Nelson added two hits and three RBIs. Carson Max added two hits, two runs scored and picked up the save on the mound in relief.

Mitchell combined for 11 hits and one error in the championship game. Wheeler said Mitchell was strong all weekend in the field, committing just three errors in the tournament.

"That speaks volumes about how hard the kids work and that was one of the big reasons we were as successful as we were," Wheeler said about his team's defensive precision in the tournament.

Saturday, Mitchell started with a win over Watertown 6-4. Miller got the win on the mound, with Briggs Havlik picking up the save. Havlik, Nelson and Jordan Dirkes each finished with three hits for Mitchell.

"All 12 of these kids made me proud," Wheeler said. "We were able to come up with big hit from the top to the bottom of our lineup."

Mitchell eliminated the host team Yankton 9-1 in the team's second game Saturday to advance to the title game. Dirkes got the win on the mound, with Drew Kitchens, Nelson and Havlik each recording two hits.

Mitchell finished the season with an overall record of 41-11 and won the team sportsmanship award.

"I think Mitchell has a quality baseball program from top to bottom," Wheeler said about the future of Mitchell baseball. "Mitchell can be one of the top teams in the state each year."