Mad Dogs still looking for first state trip: Mitchell heads to Pierre for District 3A action todayThe regular season wasn’t what the Mitchell Mad Dogs were hoping for, but the team is ready to start with a clean slate.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The regular season wasn’t what the Mitchell Mad Dogs were hoping for, but the team is ready to start with a clean slate.
The Mad Dogs begin the District 3A amateur baseball tournament today in Pierre. Mitchell (2-15) takes on Watertown at 3 p.m. in the opening round.
“Whatever happened in the past is the past, and we’re ready to go from here,” Mitchell manager Pat Skinner said. “We’re realistic about it, but we all feel excited that we get an opportunity to start from scratch just like everybody else.”
The top two teams from the district earn a trip to the state tournament in Yankton. Aberdeen is not making the trip to Pierre, which leaves just three teams vying for two spots.
Pierre is the top seed in the district and gets a bye in the first round and will take on the winner of Mitchell and Watertown after the first game’s completion.
Whichever team loses the first game will still have the opportunity to make it to the state tournament and will face off with the losing team from today’s second game at noon Sunday.
Skinner knows Mitchell has a tough task, but feels confident that the Mad Dogs — in their ninth year of existence — can make their first appearance at the state tournament.
“Watertown is young and Pierre is a more veteran team and they both are very tough teams,” Skinner said. “We’ll have to play our very best baseball to win and get a chance to play in Yankton.”
Skinner said the key to success for Mitchell will be cutting down on the team’s errors to help out the pitching staff. The Mad Dogs will look to their ace, Alex Loes, to throw in the opening-round game.
“Alex looks very good and he’s done a great job for us,” Skinner said. “There have been those moments that were way beyond his control and things didn’t go well for us, but Alex has done just fine and he’ll be ready to go.”
Loes has also been the team’s leader offensively. Skinner said Tyler Earls and Jason Skinner have also contributed at the plate with high batting averages.
“If we can play solid defensively and string some hits together we should be OK,” Pat Skinner said.
“We’re approaching these games with the mindset that we’re going to win and go to the state tournament.”