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Kernel baseball team opens with 4 wins in Rapid

RAPID CITY — The Mitchell spring baseball team started its season with a pair of games against each Rapid City Central and Rapid City Stevens over the weekend, coming away with four wins.

The Kernels (4-0) took two from Central Saturday, 4-3, and 12-0, before topping Stevens 8-5 and 16-0 before coming home.

“It was just great to play with the up and down weather we’ve had,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “You could tell how excited the team was to just get going.”

In Mitchell’s first game against RCC, Derek Miller got the start on the mound, going five innings. He picked up the win, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out two. Landon Neugebauer had two hits and two RBIs in the one-run win. Neugebauer was 9-for-11 with five RBIs over the weekend.

The Kernel’s offense got going in the second game, with nine runs in the sixth inning against RCC. Aaron Sudbeck finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Jed Schmidt threw five innings for the win, striking out six.

“It was great to see the younger kids step up and the older guys showed great leadership this weekend,” Norden said.

In the opener against Stevens, Neugebauer and Miller each finished with three hits, while Dylanger Pierson hit a three-run home run. Pierson was 2-for-5 in the game and finished with four RBIs. Sudbeck and Ben Miller each added two hits, while Matt Larson picked up the win.

The Kernels stayed patient in the final game of the weekend, taking eight walks as a team en route to scoring 16 runs in a five-inning win over RCS. Sudbeck allowed just one hit in four innings on the mound in the win, while Schmidt finished 3-for-3 to lead the Mitchell hitters.

“We talked to the kids and told them that we don’t always need hits to score runs,” Norden said. “We drew a lot of walks and that is great to see.”

The Kernels play for the first time at home this season, when Brookings comes to town Thursday at 6 p.m. at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.