League-leading Mudcats beat MitchellThe Mitchell Mad Dogs did what they needed to do to hand the Parkston Mudcats their first league loss of the summer Thursday night. The Mad Dogs got an early lead, a quality start from pitcher Brett Young and they outhit the Sunshine League leaders. But all that wasn’t enough.
By: Travis Mester, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Mad Dogs did what they needed to do to hand the Parkston Mudcats their first league loss of the summer Thursday night.
The Mad Dogs got an early lead, a quality start from pitcher Brett Young and they outhit the Sunshine League leaders.
But all that wasn’t enough.
Mitchell allowed five unearned runs and Parkston’s Brady Nolz pitched a gem of a game to lead the Mudcats to an 8-5 win at Cadwell Park.
“We know we can play with that team,” Mad Dogs’ first-baseman Jason Skinner said. “We got our hits; we just had a couple defensive mistakes and a couple mental mistakes in other places that you can’t do against good teams.”
The Mudcats fell behind 1-0 after one inning, but piled on six runs in the second — three of which were unearned as a result of a Mitchell defensive mishap — to take control. Young walked a pair in the inning and Parkston sandwiched five hits around the one Mitchell error.
And once they gained the lead, Nolz settled right in on the mound.
The right-hander tossed a complete game and allowed five runs on 11 hits while striking out six.
The big second inning wasn’t much of a surprise for the Mudcats. Parkston’s offense has made a habit of big innings throughout its undefeated run through the Sunshine League thus far this summer. Thursday was Parkston’s 15th win in as many tries in league play.
“We haven’t had much trouble scoring runs this year at all; it’s kind of been a given for us,” Nolz said. “A big start is nice; it makes my job a lot easier. I just have to go out and throw strikes.”
Parkston added two more unearned runs in the fifth inning after a pair of infield errors against the Mad Dogs.
“There’s five runs right there that we gave them,” Skinner said. “It all just happened because of defensive lapses.”
Matt Hoffman and Jeff Heisinger each had two singles for Parkston, which scored its eight runs on 10 hits.
Young threw the first seven innings for the Mad Dogs. He allowed eight runs — three earned — on seven hits and struck out three. Rich Weiss tossed the final two innings in relief.
Beau VanOverschelde scored Mitchell’s first run of the evening after leading off the bottom of the first with a triple. Young drove him in with a single. Alex Loes had a pair of singles and scored a run, while Josh DeJong drove in one of Mitchell’s two second-inning runs with a groundout.
Josiah Stroup doubled and scored on a Cade Hearnen single in the ninth, but Hearnen was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double for the second out of the Mitchell’s final chance.
“That was a relief,” Nolz said of Hearnen being thrown out at second base in the ninth inning.”
The Mad Dogs have a pair of games scheduled at Cadwell Park this weekend. Mitchell will face Wessington Springs at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Parkston Bullheads come to town at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The win got Parkston past one of its biggest hurdles in their quest for an unbeaten season in league play. The Mudcats will face two other top teams in the Sunshine League — Mount Vernon and Dimock/Emery — in their next two games. The Raptors beat Mount Vernon, 10-2, on Thursday night in Mount Vernon.
“We’ve got two of the other best teams in the league coming up now,” said Nolz. “It won’t be getting any easier.”