An eight-run hole in the first inning made it an uphill climb all night for the Mitchell Post 18 baseball team, which fell 11-8 to Brandon Valley at Cadwell Park.
The loss brings Mitchell to the end of its regular season with a record of 25-22, which will now approach Region 3A play starting on Wednesday in Sturgis.
Mitchell coach Luke Norden noted that it was an inability to throw strikes that hurt his team on Friday, issuing 10 walks in the game.
“When we’ve had issues, that’s been our main issue,” he said. “We just have to do a better job of putting ourselves in a better position on the mound.”
Mitchell pieced together a pair of four-run innings in the third and fourth frames to pull within 10-8 but could never pull even. Sam Michels knocked in two runs for Post 18, while Peyton Nash had two hits and knocked in a run. Austin Kerr, Drew Kitchens and Carson Max each scored twice, as Post 18 took advantage of a handful of passed balls and misthrows to cross the plate in the middle of the game.
Post 18 was held to eight hits and left eight men on base. Brandon Valley had nine hits and two errors, with seven left on base.
Brady Hawkins took the loss, recording one-third of an inning and allowing eight earned runs on two hits and six walks. Jackson Sadler recorded the next five outs with four hits allowed and two runs. Ryland DeVries and Koby Larson teammed up to throw the next five innings, allowing three combined hits and no earned runs with four strikeouts.
Mitchell will face Rapid City Post 320 in the postseason opener on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Central time in Sturgis.