Young stifles R.C. Central as Kernels win 8-0On a soggy evening scheduled for a doubleheader, the Mitchell baseball team got one dominant win before the misty rain came, postponing the second game until today. Kernels’ ace Brett Young frustrated Rapid City Central batters in the first game, striking out 10 in a complete-game, three-hit shoutout. Mitchell defeated Rapid City 8-0.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
On a soggy evening scheduled for a doubleheader, the Mitchell baseball team got one dominant win before the misty rain came, postponing the second game until today.
Kernels’ ace Brett Young frustrated Rapid City Central batters in the first game, striking out 10 in a complete-game, three-hit shoutout. Mitchell defeated Rapid City 8-0.
In the second game, Mitchell scored seven first-inning runs and held a 7-1 lead midway through the bottom of the second until a 25-minute rain delay turned into a postponement. The second game will resume today — exactly where the two teams left off — at roughly noon at Cadwell Park.
In the first three innings, Young — who threw a total of 76 pitches — faced the minimum of nine batters, while striking out every hitter but one. Central’s leadoff hitter got the first hit off Young in the top of the fourth after battling off three pitches on a 0-2 count. Nonchalantly, Young retired the next three batters in a row.
“This was by far his best outing of the season,” Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said. “That’s what he expects out of himself every time he takes the mound. He would want to pitch every game if he could, but this isn’t softball.”
The Kernels’ pitcher allowed one more hit in each of the fifth and sixth innings, but Mitchell’s defense never allowed a runner past second base. The win is Young’s third of the year in four starts and was his first complete-game shutout. In his first start of the season, he threw six innings, allowing no runs against Rapid City West.
“He threw some good off-speed pitches in some counts he needed to, getting guys to swing out in front,” Norden added. “Our defense played great behind him and had some rally-killer plays in the fourth and fifth innings.”
Mitchell’s offense kept Young at ease early, scoring four runs in the first inning and pushing the lead to six runs after two. The first three batters all scored for Mitchell in the first, including Young’s RBI single between first and second to score Cade Hearnen. Ryan Buck scored after being hit by a pitch when catcher Kendall Patrick hit a deep sacrifice fly to center, and Young and No. 5-hitter Alex Loes each scored on an RBI bleeder through first and second by shortstop Nick Young.
Hearnen led off the second inning with his only hit of the game and Buck followed with a picture-perfect bunt that turned into an infield single. The Kernels’ first six hits of the game all seemed to sneak through the holes of the infield, but Young’s RBI single to right-center was a rope. That hit scored Hearnen, and two batters later, Loes scored Buck on a ground out to second.
With two outs in the fourth, Loes connected with a pitch and drove the ball to the right field corner, which scored Brett Young and Collin Moen, who was running for Patrick. Except for No. 6-hitter Jordan Piper, every hitter reached base at least one time.
“It’s always good to see production up and down the lineup,” Norden said. “In order to be productive, you need a chance to score in every single inning, and with our lineup, I think that’s possible.”
Brett Young and younger brother Nick Young were each 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the game, and Loes was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Mitchell is now 9-3, and today’s game — win or lose — won’t affect its postseason. The Kernels sealed the No. 1 seed throughout the playoffs after winning Friday and will face Sturgis in the first round next week.
Unlike Mitchell, Rapid City Central is still fighting to get into the postseason and will finish a game against Sioux Falls Lincoln today before finishing its game against the Kernels. Mitchell and Central will start with one out in the bottom of the second inning with Sean DeVries, who’s running for Patrick, at first base.