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White to face two new opponents in pool play at state

Mitchell White third baseman Tate Larson tags out a Sioux Falls East base runner earlier this season. Mitchell opens its state tournament against Sioux Falls Central at 2 p.m. Friday in Watertown. (Daily Republic file photo)

The Mitchell White teener baseball team will face two teams it hasn't seen this year at the VFW 13-14 AA Minors State Tournament in Watertown.

The tournament opens Friday and concludes Sunday with the championship contest.

This weekend, Mitchell White (13-29) is in Pool C with Sioux Falls Central, Rapid City Pony and Brookings Gray. Of the three, Mitchell has only played Brookings this season.

Mitchell assistant coach Ryan Buck, who is filling in for head coach Brett Flemmer at the state tournament, said not playing a team during the year shouldn't make a difference.

"I'd say it's pretty neutral," Buck said. "Each team can have a good game, so we just need to take it one game at a time."

Mitchell, which has 18 players on the squad, opens the tournament with two games Friday. It faces Sioux Falls Central at 2 p.m. and Brookings Gray at 4 p.m. Mitchell continues Saturday against Rapid City Pony. If it advances out of the pool play, Mitchell advances to play in the championship bracket Sunday. There are four pools of four teams each.

Buck said the team's starting pitchers consistently throw strikes and keep Mitchell in a good position. Those pitchers are Brandon McKnight, Jordan Dirkes, Jeremiah Schmitz, Adam Loes and Tim Morgan.

Offensively, Buck said his team does a good job at getting on base. There were no stats available for offense or defense.

"We're good at battling it out and playing quality baseball," he said. "If we keep throwing strikes and play good defense behind our pitchers, we can make an impact."

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.