Post 18 falls to Valley Springs; Mitchell's season ends with 8-1 lossIf playoff baseball is about rising to another level, Mitchell Post 18 didn’t get it done Wednesday. That theme is all too familiar to some of the Mitchell players.
By: Marcus Traxler, The Daily Republic
If playoff baseball is about rising to another level, Mitchell Post 18 didn’t get it done Wednesday.
That theme is all too familiar to some of the Mitchell players.
Valley Springs Post 131 pounded out 13 hits and knocked out Mitchell with an 8-1 win Wednesday at Cadwell Park in the Region 2A Legion Tournament.
In a game where the hometown squad never gained control, Valley Springs posted a 6-0 run lead with a pair of three-run innings in the fourth and fifth frames, coasting to their second win of the tournament.
“We kind of did the same thing in the spring,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said, bringing up Mitchell’s 6-3 loss to Sioux Falls Roosevelt in the Class A wildcard game during the high school season. “We just kind of showed up with a different attitude than we did in the last half of the season when we were playing well. You can’t show up with a different mentality, especially in big games,” he said.
Mitchell finishes the season 34-21. Valley Springs (29-22) advanced to meet Sioux Falls West for a spot in the championship series against Sioux Falls East.
Post 18’s offense barely got going in the first five innings, mustering only four hits. Mitchell had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth but Jared Schmidt’s ground ball to short was swallowed up and brought to second to retire the side.
Valley Springs, who was the home team, opened the scoring in the fourth inning when Jacob Adams drilled a two-run home run to left field, driving in Trevor Crow, who reached on an Evan Mastel error. Three batters later, Eric Roach singled in Sam Rall from second base to build a 3-0 lead.
Post 131 added three more runs in the fifth inning when Jacob Adams doubled to left field, scoring Dylan Rock from second base. After a walk of Rall, Thad Barth and Roach each hit RBI singles to left field for a 6-0 lead after five innings.
Mitchell got on the board when Jared Schmidt singled to center, scoring Lakin Neugebauer from second base in the top of the seventh. Valley Springs answered with a single run in the bottom half of the inning when Kyle Klumpp knocked in Rall.
Sioux Falls East opened the day with a 6-3 win over crosstown rival Sioux Falls West, advancing East to Thursday’s title game against Valley Springs at 4 p.m. Valley Springs will need two wins to take the region title, although both teams will advance to the state tournament next week in Aberdeen.
Valley Springs advanced to the title game by defeating Sioux Falls West in the late game Wednesday. The final for that game was 10-3.
Sioux Falls West, the top-seeded team in the region, is still eligible for the state tournament, earning a chance at a wildcard berth with its third-place region finish.
Mitchell starter Mastel invited contact from Valley Springs, drawing 6 of his first 9 outs via ground balls before running into trouble in the middle innings and taking the loss. He recorded five innings pitched, five earned runs, eight hits allowed, two walks and one strikeout. Matt Larson and Seth Cavanaugh teamed up to finish the game for Mitchell.
Valley Springs pitcher Rock threw seven innings, allowing one run, seven hits and striking out nine to earn the win.
Jared Schmidt was 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Neguebauer went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a run scored. Adams led Valley Springs going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and two runs scored.
Norden said his team’s 34 wins is the most he’s had in his nine years affiliated with the team as a coach and said there’s plenty of good to takeaway for his team heading into next season.
“The guys did some good things this summer. You can’t put that aside and only focus on the end of the year. The best part is that we have all of these guys coming back,” Norden said.
Neugebauer, one of two seniors on the team along with Zach Bennett, says he plans on returning to play Legion baseball next year.
“We can use the experience and bring it back for next year,” he said. “It wasn’t the way we wanted it to go. We felt good about playing them but sometimes you don’t play the way you should.”More from around the web