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RAPID CITY -- One day after 10-run ruling its first opponent of the Class A state Legion tournament, Mitchell had the same pain inflicted on it. Post 18 - which had five errors in the game -- was handed its first loss in the double-elimination tournament from Rapid City Post 22 Thursday night at Fitzgerald Stadium 14-2. The loss was Mitchell's fifth loss to Post 22 this season. "Same story against these guys all year," Mitchell coach Luke Norden said.
The state VFW 13/14 AA baseball tournament will be held over the weekend at Cadwell Park and Drake Field. Thirteen teams from around the state -- including the Mitchell Teener White team -- will be in attendance to play in the three-day tournament. To get in the tournament, there were no previous criteria, as any team that wanted to enter will be playing. Mitchell is up against Brookings Gray, a team it hasn't seen before, in its first-round game at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Cadwell.
It will be an unfamiliar crowd for Mitchell at the Class A state Legion tournament. Unlike a season ago when Post 18 had seen six of the seven teams, the team has seen only three of the teams that qualified for the eight-team tournament this year. One of the unknown teams is Vermillion, which is the team Post 18 is matched up against today at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City. The two teams are the second game of the day and will start at 1 p.m. MDT (2 p.m. CDT).
Mitchell pitchers watched the team's offense put up 62 runs over the course of the regional tournament. The staff's 43 runs allowed wasn't exactly the support the all right-handed group wanted to reciprocate with, especially since starters Cade Hearnen and Alex Loes gave up a combined five runs in two complete games. The state tournament starts Wednesday in Rapid City, and even though the turnaround from regions is short, Post 18 pitchers are hoping the change in results is huge. "It's a good thing we've got four or five pitchers," Post 18 ace Brett Young said.
YANKTON -- Mitchell head coach Luke Norden has watched Cade Hearnen take the mound many times in the past three years. So when Hearnen climbed the hill in what could have been his final start for Post 18, he picked the perfect time to throw what Norden called the best start of his career.
YANKTON -- Mitchell scored 39 total runs in two wins Wednesday, keeping the team alive in the Region 2A Legion baseball playoffs. Post 18 tallied nearly one-third of the day's runs in the third inning against Brandon Valley when it scored 11 runs en route to a 19-3 five-inning blowout win over the same team that knocked it from the winners' bracket. "We thought we owed them from (Tuesday)," Mitchell center fielder Cade Hearnen said.
YANKTON -- Brandon Valley kept the damage to a minimum all game, never allowing Mitchell to score more than two runs in an inning. The most important out for Brandon Valley -- the final out -- came in the bottom of the ninth after Mitchell scored two runs to creep within two. Alex Loes drilled a fastball to center field with Brett Young on second and Kendall Patrick on first. Brandon Valley's outfielder drifted to about 10 feet in front of the warning track to snag the line drive and end the Region 2A first-round game 12-10.
A loss to Brandon Valley last week could have been the push Mitchell needed into today's Region 2A Legion tournament. After stranding 16 runners on base in an 8-6 loss to Brandon Valley Thursday, Post 18 clobbered its next two opponents by a combined 31 runs. Mitchell defeated Platte-Geddes 18-3 one day after the frustrating loss to Brandon Valley, and the team put up 17 runs in a rout over Huron Saturday. "They're gearing up," said Post 18 coach Luke Norden, whose team went 25-18 during the regular season.
Aberdeen natives Dean and Tyler Zahn enjoyed the first time they golfed Lakeview Golf Course together. In their first and only golf tournament of the summer, the Zahns shot an even-par 72 at the South Dakota Golf Association Adult/Junior Championships Sunday at Lakeview to take the 16-18 age group along with the best overall score. "This is the only tournament we're going to play all summer," Dean said. "So it was nice that we won it." Dean hit a seven iron on the ninth hole to about five feet from the cup where Tyler knocked in the eagle.
Mitchell worked 11 walks and had seven batters hit by pitch in an 18-3, six-inning rout over Platte-Geddes Friday in a Legion baseball game at Drake Field. Post 18 scored in every inning but the second in what was Mitchell's second to last tune-up game before the regional tournament. The 10 hits on 18 runs was what the team needed after stranding 16 runners in an 8-6 loss Thursday to Brandon Valley -- the same team it faces Tuesday to open regions. "The last couple games have been our best hitting the ball on a line," Post 18 head coach Luke Norden said.