Mitchell baseball team loses to Huron in region playoff gameMitchell falls to Huron 5-1 in Region 3A playoffs
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Mitchell coach Luke Norden wasn’t overly concerned about the defensive errors — both mental and physical — that led to nearly all of Huron’s runs Saturday.
“We had a couple of balls that should have been caught, but it makes no difference when we only have two hits and our approach at the plate wasn’t very good at all,” said Norden, whose team lost 5-1 to fourth-seeded Huron (4-17) in the first round of the Region 3A tournament at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. Huron went on to beat Rapid City Stevens 10-3 in the championship game for a berth to the state tournament.
In the first round, the top-seeded Kernels (16-8) didn’t get their first hit until Michael Sadler’s RBI double in the fifth inning scored Josh Schmidt to pull Mitchell within one run. Mitchell’s final hit came with one out in the seventh inning, when Calvin Limberg lined a single through the middle of the infield.
Mitchell sent the minimum nine batters to the plate through three innings. Huron caught Mitchell stealing twice and turned a double play in the bottom of the second. Norden said the team missed signs early on and tried to do too much on offense.
“We gave away outs offensively,” Norden said. “We don’t swing on a hit-and-run and we get thrown out at second base. We are going to hit-and-run, and I tell the hitter we’re going to do that, and we swing early and ground into a double play. … Then there was another out that we didn’t do what we were supposed to do. It ended up costing us early.
“We didn’t even give ourselves an opportunity to score more runs because we were trying to do too much.”
Brent Havlik started for Mitchell, throwing 4 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs, both of which were earned but could have been prevented. In the third, Huron leadoff hitter Zack Cranston reached on a one-out walk, moved to second on a bunt and reached third on a stolen base. With two out, Cranston scored when a high fly ball to left field — which looked catchable — dropped to the ground to give Huron a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Cranston reached on another one-out walk and scored on Ty Waddle’s triple to right field over Zach Bennett’s head.
After Sadler pulled Mitchell within 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Huron tallied three runs in the top of the seventh, all coming on a two-out triple to right. Huron bunted to move Cranston to second for the inning’s second out. In the next at-bat, a ground ball to Mitchell shortstop Seth Cavanaugh was thrown errantly toward first base, allowing Hartman Katz’s hit in the next at-bat to run down the right-field foul line for three runs.
Jared Schmidt relieved Havlik in the fifth, but gave up the final three runs, all unearned.
Waddle pitched all seven innings for Huron. He gave up two hits, one run and struck out three batters. He walked six and hit one batter.
“We had a couple of good at-bats, but 75 percent of our at-bats weren’t where they should have been,” Norden said.