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DeVries seizes the moment for Post 18

Last year, Ryland DeVries got the start for Mitchell Post 18 in the title game against Pierre Post 8 and it didn't go as planned. On Saturday, DeVries did just enough on the mound for Post 18.

Mitchell's Ryland DeVries delivers a pitch on Saturday. (Ryan Deal / Republic)
Mitchell's Ryland DeVries delivers a pitch on Saturday during the Class A state Legion baseball tournament against Renner. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

Last year, Ryland DeVries got the start for Mitchell Post 18 in the title game against Pierre Post 8 and it didn’t go as planned. On Saturday, DeVries did just enough on the mound for Post 18.

“Last year, I come out and I had the championship game,” DeVries said. “It didn’t go how I wanted it. So I just wanted to do as much as I could for this team to make it back to Sunday.”

DeVries lasted five innings, scattered seven hits, gave up six earned runs and struck out one batter in five innings in an elimination game against Renner at Hyde Stadium. He earned the win as Post 18 knocked off the Royals, 8-7.

After giving up two early runs in the first inning, he settled in and limited Renner’s bats just enough. Mitchell’s defense also had his back.    

“Last year, I gave up a couple of runs early and I got down on myself,” DeVries said. “But today, they scored two early and I just kept faith in my team. I couldn’t have asked for a better team today.”

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The biggest inning was the fifth when DeVries retired the side to keep the score at 5-5.  

“He battled through some situations and just about the time when I was ready to maybe take him out, he went out and got a 1-2-3 inning,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “The biggest inning of the game.”

Kerr delivers for Post 18 After DeVries got the hook, Austin Kerr delivered in a big way for Mitchell Post 18 on Saturday.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kerr ripped a three-run double to deep centerfield for a 8-5 lead.

“I took the best, first pitch obviously and it was just right down the middle," Kerr said. "I just tried to get it over the infield and get some runs scored."

Kerr said he’s never had a hit in such a big moment and was still searching for the words after Mitchell advanced to Championship Sunday.

“Incredible,” the soft-spoken Kerr said. “Great feeling.”

Before Kerr’s triple, Renner intentionally walked Carson Max to load the bases with two outs. Kerr responded with the biggest hit of the day for Mitchell and Max rounded the bases for the 8-5 advantage.

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“The ball didn’t even get to the fence,” Norden said. “But Carson Max, too, running out of chutes all the way from first base and it ended up being the winning run.”

Post 18 rallies to Championship Sunday Mitchell Post 18’s slow start to the season is a thing of the past.

Not long ago, Mitchell was battling to stay above .500, but a mid-season turnaround righted the ship.

Post 18 was 14-19 in early July, but it went 8-3 to get back above .500. It started with a few wins before the prestigious Gopher Classic in the Twin Cities.

“We won (five) in a row before that,” Norden said. “We had some good momentum going into the Gopher Classic, which was good too.”

Mitchell went 5-2 at the Gopher Classic and it continued to ride the momentum into the state tournament.

“We played a lot of teams we haven’t seen and going into a big tournament like that, you know you are going to see good opponents,” Mitchell’s Brady Hawkins said. “We just said, ‘We are going to go out every game and it give our best.’ That’s actually what we did and what we have been doing since that point.”

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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