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Mitchell falls in first round to West

Mitchell's Evan Mastel throws to first after fielding the ball deep down the third baseline Wednesday in its opening game of the State A Legion Baseball Tournament versus Sioux Falls West in Rapid City. (Chris Huber/Rapid City Journal)

RAPID CITY-- The State A Legion Baseball Tournament got off to a rough start for the Mitchell Post 18 Legion team.

Despite recording 11 hits, Mitchell fell to Sioux Falls West 9-4 Wednesday at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City. During the nine-inning game, Post 18 left 13 runners on base.

"We gave ourselves a chance every single inning, but we just didn't have hits when we needed them," Mitchell baseball coach Luke Norden said. "It's not disappointing that we lost; it is disappointing that we didn't perform well. Guys put in all this work all summer and in the biggest game of the season, we didn't perform and that is pretty disappointing."

Post 18 fell early, giving up four runs in the second inning and one run in the fourth. Sioux Falls West scored on RBI singles from Kenny Dobberpuhl, Scott Simons, and Seth Peterson in the second.

Mitchell got on the board for the first time in the fifth inning by scoring two runs. Matt Larson led off the inning with a single, followed by singles from the bats of Jared Schmidt, Josh Schmidt and Dylanger Pierson. The base hits from Pierson and Josh Schmidt were RBI singles, scoring Larson and Jared Schmidt.

Post 18 scored two more runs in the top of the sixth as Landon Neugebauer recorded a one-out single to get the offense started. Neugebauer eventually scored on a wild pitch from Sioux Falls West pitcher Peterson. Mitchell's next and final run of the game came after Pierson was walked with the bases loaded, which scored Larson.

Larson finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Pierson was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Lakin Neugebauer was 2-for-5 with a double.

"They took care of some opportunities that we didn't," Norden said. "We had an opportunity to get out of the second inning without giving up a run, but we couldn't come up with the outs we needed and they scored four runs. In the two big innings they had they took advantage of every opportunity, and we were willing to let them do that."

Michael Sadler threw 6 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 13 hits. He also struck out three and walked two. Pierson came on in relief, pitching 1 1/2 innings, giving up one hit and no runs.

Post 18 continues its tournament today at 11 a.m. Central time as it takes on Spearfish. Mitchell, Spearfish and Aberdeen, which were all region champions, lost in the first round.

"We have to perform better if we want our season to continue," Norden said. "The bottom line is we have to show up. We are down to our last loss, so if you don't show up you are not really concerned about the season continuing and it doesn't mean that much to you."