Extra-inning win caps Kernel sweep of Washington
It was a tale of two games for Mitchell High School in a baseball doubleheader against Sioux Falls Washington on Monday at Cadwell Park.
In the end, though, both games ended with the same outcome—a Kernel win.
The Mitchell pitching tandem of Jared Miller and Drew Kitchens combined to toss a no-hitter in a 10-2 win in Game 1, as Washington committed seven errors. In Game 2, the Kernels had three errors, but were able to overcome them in a 6-5 walk-off win in eight innings to end the regular season.
"It was the difference between executing in the first game in different at-bats and situational things and not being able to do that in the second game," MHS head coach Luke Norden said. "We battled to be able to come back and win the (second) game. ... We just have to focus on what we need to do to win the game and go from there."
In the first game, Mitchell (19-6) scored eight of its 10 runs in the second and third innings on three hits and four errors. Koby Larson also had a hot bat, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Kitchens went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
On the mound, Miller allowed one earned run on five walks in 2 1/3 innings, while Kitchens tossed 3 2/3 innings with a walk serving as the lone blemish on his stat line.
"Jared struggled a little bit to start the game on the mound," Norden said. "Drew came in after that and threw really well. ... Our defense was awesome as well. ... We've got the recipe for success if we can keep our defense where we're at."
In Game 2, the Kernels were loose with the ball, as a hit batter and an error led to a 2-0 hole in the top of the first. Two walks and an error also led to another run in the third, but every time Washington (15-12) capitalized, Mitchell had an answer.
After tying the game in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Calvin Hegg, the Kernels had chances to take the lead, but could not do so. Eventually, catcher Drew Bollinger tossed Garrett Winblade out at second base to end the eighth and Miller stole third in the bottom of the eighth. An errant throw on the play would allow him to trot home for the winning run.
"I thought we were really aggressive on the bases all night," Norden said. "We just tried to make things happen, and hopefully in that situation, our third baseman wears it on the chest and holds the ball there. Their guy didn't do that and it allowed us to get a run in."
The Kernel pitching staff of Miller, Jackson Sadler and Larson combined to allow three earned runs on six hits, while fanning eight.
Mitchell awaits its playoff fate on Wednesday, with a chance at earning the No. 4 seed for Saturday's Class A playoffs still within grasp.