Kernels baseball team hosts Class A wildcard game todayIn its last chance to qualify for the state tournament, the Mitchell high school baseball team is hosting Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 6 p.m. today at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
In its last chance to qualify for the state tournament, the Mitchell high school baseball team is hosting Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 6 p.m. today at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
The game is the Class A wildcard playoff game, where the top two teams that did not qualify for the state tournament through the regional playoffs meet in a one-game playoff.
“It was good with our sweep on Tuesday versus Brandon, because that allowed us to host the game, otherwise we would have had to go to Sioux Falls,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “Last year, Roosevelt was the wildcard team and they won the state tournament.”
Mitchell is winless in two games against Roosevelt this year. The Kernels lost 10-2 on April 3 in Sioux Falls at Harmodon Park, and again on May 10 — a 3-1 score — in Mitchell. Despite having two head-to-head losses against Roosevelt, Mitchell (16-8) gets to host the wildcard since it finished the season with 14 wins against Class A opponents. Roosevelt (19-6) finished the year with 13 wins against Class A opponents.
In the two losses to Roosevelt this year, Mitchell hasn’t been very strong offensively, garnering two and three hits. Roosevelt has 18 hits combined in the two games against the Kernels.
Roosevelt’s Connor Grove started in the first matchup, throwing four innings and striking out three. He beat Mitchell right-hander Josh Schmidt, who also pitched four innings.
In the second matchup, Mitchell lefty Brent Havlik threw five strong innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out eight. But Roosevelt’s Austin Smith threw a complete game with four strikeouts.
“The two games we’ve played them, we haven’t been real aggressive at the plate,” Norden said. “That’s cost us.”
On Saturday, Mitchell hosted the Region 3A tournament but lost its first-round game 5-1 against Huron after recording two hits. Mitchell was eliminated, and Huron went on to beat Rapid City Stevens 10-3 in the region title game for a state tournament berth. Other teams that qualified for the state tournament in Class A Saturday were Sioux Falls Washington, which won Region 1A, and Sioux Falls O’Gorman, the Region 2A champion.
The wildcard winner earns the fourth and final state tournament spot. The state tournament is Saturday at Sioux Falls Stadium.