The weather and Mitchell Post 18’s schedule are about to heat up.
Post 18 returns from Gillette, Wyoming’s Hladky tournament after going 3-2, including three games against out-of-state opponents. Mitchell defeated Rapid City Post 320, Rocky Mountain and Premier West at the tournament. It also lost to Post 320 and Gillette.
“One reason I like to go to things like that is you get to play against some good teams and see how you kind of stack up and see how you compete against good teams,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “A good part about that is what happened this weekend and obviously coming out with a winning record is great, but just kind of getting to know our players a little better too and see what they can do in certain situations. So it was good to see.”
Mitchell finished its tournament run with an 11-8 come-from-behind win over Post 320. Mitchell plated five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn the victory.
Ryan McGinnis hit a two-run single to even the score at 8-8, while Isaac Rew later drove in two runs to complete the comeback victory.
“We had a couple of big hits to score five runs there,” Norden said. “So it was good to see our at-bats get better when we lost the lead there and our at-bats just got better at the end of the game.”
Mitchell (11-9) will now face in-state foes for the next two weeks as the calendar flips to July. Post 18 hosts Sioux Falls East in a 5 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday at Cadwell Park. Mitchell plays at Pierre in a 5 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday.
“We are just trying to get better every time we go out and it helps having a winning record,” Norden said. “I thought the competition was really good and I thought we played really well at times and competed really well at times and other times we kind of dropped our guard a little bit.”
The upcoming slate of games are important under the new power point format for Class A baseball this season. All games between South Dakota Class A teams will count for power points including tournaments and doubleheaders. It awards 41, 44, 47 or 50 points for a win depending on the opponents’ winning percentage, while teams receive 30, 33, 36 or 39 points for a loss.
The top-14 seeds will play a best-of-three game series for the final seven state tournament spots. The state tournament host claims the eighth spot, which is Brandon Valley in 2020.
“Obviously we want to play at home as much as possible,” Norden said. “We just have to continue to get better and we have a big week here Wednesday and Thursday with two doubleheaders for all power point games. We just want to continue to build and hopefully gather some wins in those situations when we can.”