Mitchell White, Gold ready for state
Two Mitchell 13-14 teener minors teams are looking for state championships this weekend.
Mitchell Gold will start its tournament against the Watertown White Sox at 5 p.m. Friday in Pierre. Mitchell White will play against Brandon Valley at 9 a.m and Sioux Falls East at 7 p.m. Friday in Pierre.
The 14-team tournament starts Friday and will conclude with the championship game on Sunday. Each team will play three games in pool-play and the top four teams advance to the championship bracket.
Gold coach Sam Schumacher said he feels good about his team's chances this weekend.
"We're coming together as a team at the right time," Schumacher said, adding his team had a seven-game winning streak earlier this summer. "Guys finally look real comfortable out there, and it has been good to see that chemistry form."
Leading the way for Mitchell Gold has been Calvin Hegg, Jared Miller and Sam Edwards. Schumacher said Hegg is the catalyst for the team batting leadoff and playing shortstop. Miller has been pitching strong on the mound and Edwards in the outfield is providing the team with extra speed. Season stats are not kept for either Mitchell team.
Gold (16-20) has already had success against its first round opponent, Watertown White Sox, as it has won both games the teams have played this year.
"We have gotten better since day one," Schumacher said. "Every game we go out there, we have a chance to win."
Mitchell White coach Brett Flemmer said his team will look to embrace an underdog role, which could lead to some success.
"I think right now we are peaking at the right time and playing good baseball," Flemmer said. "We're limiting our mistakes and we just need to have fun and see what happens. I am really proud of this team."
White (4-27) is coming off a 10-5 win over the Watertown White Sox a week ago. Flemmer said the team's record doesn't accurately indicate his team as White has played in a lot of close games this season.
"It took our kids a while to get used to playing with different kids than their previous team," Flemmer said. "We have really preached all year about developing well-rounded baseball players. This team has shown the most growth throughout a season, and I wish there was a number that could show that."
Leaders on Mitchell White have been Chris Mentele, who Flemmer said has developed the most over the summer, at first base and batting in the middle of the lineup. Reese Sievert will also be a player that Flemmer said he will count on as he has been the team's leading pitcher.
Drew Bollinger and Logan Sparks are two players Flemmer said the team needs to play big and have both developed skills in the shortstop role throughout the season.