PIERRE -- A pair of innings nearly haunted Mitchell Post 18 on Thursday. A six-run fourth inning sent Pierre past Mitchell, 7-2, but Brady Hawkins delivered a walk-off single to top Sturgis, 6-5, in the second game of the doubleheader.
In Game 2, Sturgis scored on an error to tie the game, 5-5, with two outs in the top of the seventh. Peyton Nash hit a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh, and was driven home by Hawkins a couple of batters later.
“From (Wednesday to Thursday), our at-bats were way more competitive,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “We didn’t give up many at-bats, as far as going up there without a plan or approach. I was really pleased with the competitiveness in our at-bats.”
It was Post 18’s 10th hit of the game, which included Joe VanOverschelde and Nash each recording two hits.
It was a back-and-forth contest, as Ryan McGinnis’ RBI single gave Post 18 a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Sturgis responded with a four-run second inning.
Mitchell chipped away at the lead, with Koby Larson hitting an RBI single and Nick Lord’s double driving in the tying run in the third inning. Mitchell (12-12) retook the lead in the fourth when Jonah Schmidt scored on a fielder’s choice.
Once Post 18 took the lead, Isaac Rew contained Sturgis’ bat enough to earn the win. He struck out four and allowed an unearned run in the final three innings. Brady Brosz gave up four runs (three earned) in a 1.2-inning start and Josh Grosdidier, who also pitched in the first game, didn’t allow a run in the next 2.1 frames.
“I couldn’t say enough good things about our two relief pitchers,” Norden said. “... (For Grosdidier) to come in the second game again and give us two-plus innings (was huge). For Rew to come in and do what he did, I can’t say enough good things about those two guys. They were great for us.”
Colton Cruickshank’s only run allowed in his 2.2-inning outing for Sturgis came in the seventh. RJ Andrzejewski had two of its five hits.
In the first game, Pierre broke open a scoreless tie with a six-run fourth inning. Matt Lusk singled home the first run of the game, while Lincoln Keinholz and Andrew Coverdale each hit a two-run single to cap the big inning. Pierre finished with seven runs (two earned) on nine hits against starter Brady Hawkins, who struck out eight batters in his 4.1-inning start.
“A ground ball that we’re probably going to field at first base and get an out on, the ball ends up hitting the first base bag and hits Brady Brosz right in the sunglasses,” Norden said. “That play kind of extended the inning and allowed them to get more and more runs with two outs.”
Post 18 couldn’t erase the deficit. Austin Kerr singled home Hawkins in the next inning, but Garrett Stout and Lusk combined to hold Mitchell to three hits in the loss. It loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Lusk got out of the jam by allowing just one run on a wild pitch. Brady Brosz doubled for Mitchell, as well.
Stout struck out seven batters over five innings. At the plate, Lusk, Coverdale and Grey Zabel each finished with two hits for Pierre.
Mitchell Post 18 hosts West Central for a 6 p.m. contest on Sunday.
“West Central beat Brandon Valley (on Monday,” Norden said. “... Brandon Valley’s got a really good team, so they’re going to be pumped up and be ready to play.”