Mitchell Post 18 capitalized on Aberdeen’s mistakes, as it earned a doubleheader sweep in its final twin bill of the regular season. Post 18 earned a 14-2 win in five innings in the first game, and then topped Aberdeen 11-1 in five innings.
“We took advantage of some miscues, but you look at how well we ran the bases in some situations,” Post 18 coach Luke Norden said. “… When you’re running hard and making things happen when balls are dropped and making things happen, I think that was a big deal being ready to play. I thought we were ready to play tonight.”
In Game 1, Mitchell scored early and often. It plated eight runs in the first inning, and then scored two more runs in each of the last three innings.
Post 18 had five hits and drew three walks during the eight-run inning, while errors and wild pitches prolonged the inning. The first two batters reached base, and then Austin Kerr had an RBI single. Brady Hawkins delivered an RBI double a couple of batters later, while Josh Grosdidier and Koby Larson each singled in runners later in the inning.
“The expectation is to take advantage of everything that’s given to you,” Norden said.
The scoring continued, as Isaac Rew singled in two runs in the second inning. A frame later, Hawkins delivered a two-run home run to left field. Austin Kerr and Hunter Stahle hit back-to-back RBI hits to cap the scoring for Post 18.
Carson Fahey, Kerr, Stahle and Hawkins all had two hits to help Mitchell have an 11-3 advantage in the hit column. Meanwhile, Brady Brosz struck out six batters and held Aberdeen to an earned run in a four-inning start to pick up the win.
Aiden McCafferty gave up 10 runs (six earned) in a two-inning start to suffer the loss. Max Prehn had two hits.
Mitchell had another fast start in the second game, thanks to an Aberdeen error. A pop fly fell in the infield with two outs, allowing three runners to score to give Mitchell a 4-1 lead. A passed ball and error in the field pushed another trio of runners across during a seven-run first inning.
This time, Mitchell’s defense carried it. It didn’t commit an error and kept Aberdeen off the bases by snagging hard-hit liners and ground balls. Aberdeen was held to three hits.
“I thought our catchers did a great job calling pitches and our pitchers did a great job pounding the strike zone,” Norden said. “Our outfield had to make more plays than our infield did, as far as fly balls. We did a good job in the gaps and coming in on balls.”
Post 18, which had four hits, scored three more runs in the fourth. Hawkins drew a bases loaded walk to push home the game-winning run an inning later.
Colby Gillen finished with a team-high two hits, while Joe VanOverschelde drove in two runs. Jake Helleloid picked up the win, as he struck out five in five innings.
Hunter Riggenberg took the loss, giving up 11 runs (four earned) in four innings.
Mitchell (21-20) plays Brandon Valley at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cadwell Park.
“We need to come out and play like we need to win,” Norden said. “We’re going to treat it as a playoff game and a do-or-die game.”