It will go down as a 2-2 weekend for the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team.
But Mitchell showed some resolve in its weekend split at Cadwell Park, capped by Sunday's doubleheader sweep against Yankton. Mitchell earned a 6-5 walk-off victory in the first game and then scored 14 unanswered runs to win the late contest 14-4 in six innings.
Counting the two losses Saturday against Rapid City Post 22, Mitchell (16-15) trailed in each of the four games, and Post 18 won two of those and had a chance to tie or win against Rapid City in the second game.
Mitchell coach Luke Norden said he appreciated his team’s approach when facing deficits to get themselves back into the game and ultimately into the win column.
“We had some really good at-bats all weekend, some cases where we weren’t trying to do too much,” he said. “We had situations where we realized that we just needed to get on base, and that the next guy will do his job to get him around or get him in. We can’t go out and hit a three-run home run with nobody on base.”
In the first game against Yankton, Mitchell trailed 5-1 through 4 1/2 innings before scoring five unanswered runs to come back. Parker Bollinger’s RBI single in the sixth inning scored Joe VanOverschelde, tying the game at 5.
In the seventh inning, it looked like extra innings were on the way when Brady Hawkins bashed a line drive to straightaway left field, and the ball went past a diving Yankton outfielder, rolling to the wall and allowing Hawkins a triple. Yankton (4-12) had a passed ball on the very next pitch, allowing Hawkins to score from third base and giving Mitchell another walk-off victory.
Hawkins had three hits, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Koby Larson and Hunter Stahle each had doubles. Bollinger, Austin Kerr and Isaac Rew each had RBIs, and Mitchell drew eight walks.
Jonah Schmidt drew the start, throwing five innings, allowing six hits, five runs (one earned) and striking out six. Josh Grosdidier was the winning pitcher in relief, with two innings pitched without a hit and two strikeouts.
Mitchell had mustered very little in the second game against Yankton starter Tristan Redman, getting just two hits in the first trip through the order and trailed 4-0 when they came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning. VanOverschelde had two hits, three runs scored and three RBIs, while Kerr had three RBIs, two hits and two runs scored. Colby Gillen drove in three runs and had two hits. Bollinger also had two hits, two RBIs and two walks. Ryan McGinnis drew three walks and scored three runs.
“We just started to stack good at-bats on top of each other,” Norden said.
Brady Brosz started for Mitchell in the second game and allowed six hits, four runs and struck out five batters in four innings. Jake Helleloid was the winning pitcher in relief, picking up two scoreless innings and striking out three.
“I was really happy with the way our defense played all weekend,” Norden said. “We didn’t commit many errors and we made the other team make some plays, but defensively, I thought that was really good to see.”
Mitchell’s schedule is subject to change, but Post 18 is scheduled to play in the Veterans Classic in Rapid City starting Thursday, with a 9 p.m. Central game against Rapid City Post 320. Currently, it’s scheduled to be the first of five games at the Veterans Classic.