Post 18 stays alive with win over BrookingsRAPID CITY — Jordan Piper gave up two long home runs, 14 hits and seven runs, but pitched all nine innings while Mitchell’s offense put up enough runs to give him the complete-game win. Post 18 defeated Brookings 11-7 in an elimination game Friday at the Class A state Legion baseball tournament at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City. “It was judgment day part one today, so we were ready to go,” Mitchell third baseman Alex Loes said.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — Jordan Piper gave up two long home runs, 14 hits and seven runs, but pitched all nine innings while Mitchell’s offense put up enough runs to give him the complete-game win.
Post 18 defeated Brookings 11-7 in an elimination game Friday at the Class A state Legion baseball tournament at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City.
“It was judgment day part one today, so we were ready to go,” Mitchell third baseman Alex Loes said.
Post 18 scored four runs in the top of the second inning when Kendall Patrick led off with a single up the middle and Loes followed with an RBI triple off the right-center field fence. Kyle Larson scored Loes on a groundout and Sean DeVries and Alex Bennett each scored to give Mitchell an early 4-0 lead.
Post 74 answered back with an RBI single and a three-run homer by Todd Standish in the bottom of the inning.
“It was good for us to score four runs in the second inning because it settled us down,” Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said. “But it was good for them to answer back with four runs. We changed our approach with Piper to pound the inside of the strike zone, and it paid off the rest of the game.
“With the wind blowing out to right, he left a couple balls over the plate a little too far. After they scored those four runs, he was really effective inside and he worked his curveball when he needed to.”
Brookings only scored one more run in the next three innings as Piper got Post 74 batters to swing at pitches out of the zone and make easy outs to Mitchell’s defense.
Mitchell’s defense only had one error in the game — a base hit that was hit out to center fielder Cade Hearnen that he overran and allowed the runner to move up to second — and Post 18 outfielders made some long running catches.
“Defense is what really killed us (against Post 22),” Loes said of a game where Mitchell had five errors in seven innings. “We weren’t going to let that beat us again today.”
Mitchell put up four more runs in the fifth inning to take an 8-4 lead. Brett Young hit an RBI double off the right-center field fence to score Ryan Buck, and then Patrick hit a bloop single to right center. Loes hit a shot down the third-base line, scoring Patrick, and Loes scored when designated-hitter Kyle Larson smashed a double to left center.
Piper got the first two batters out in the sixth inning but then walked the next batter, who stole second and scored on a single to right. Brookings’ final run of the game came on a solo homer – a mammoth shot that hit the top of the scoreboard in left-center field.
Piper faced three batters in the eighth, struck out the first batter in the ninth and then gave up back-to-back singles. Norden took a trip to the mound, and the next pitch Piper threw was lined to Buck at second, who relayed the ball to first for the game-ending double play.
“My off speed was working well, but my fastball didn’t have the velocity on it I like,” Piper said. “I must have loosened something up because it picked up in the last few innings. So when the fastball picks up, it makes the off speed that much better.”
Buck and Patrick each had RBI hits in the sixth, and Mitchell’s final run came in the seventh when DeVries scored on Steve Jackson’s only single of the game.
Mitchell will play Rapid City Post 320 today at 8 p.m. MDT (9 CDT). Mitchell hasn’t faced Post 320 this season, but Post 320 earned a 10-9 win over Rapid City Post 22 Friday night to stay unbeaten.
Norden said he wasn’t sure who would get the start against Post 320. It is normally Alex Loes’ turn in the rotation, but Norden said he wants to see how Young, who pitched only five innings in the team’s first-round win against Vermillion, feels today.
“It all depends on how (Young) feels,” Norden said. “If he feels good and ready to go, we’ll probably go with him.”
Notes: Patrick was 4-for-5 and nearly had a five-hit night, but in his final at-bat, he roped a single up the middle that Brookings’ pitcher snagged. … Mitchell’s top three hitters, Hearnen, Buck and Young, went a combined 2-for-12. … Steve Jackson inured his ankle on a slide into second base in the seventh inning and was taken out of the game.