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Miller leads Mitchell past Yankton

A slow start didn't hamper the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team on Tuesday. After allowing four earned runs in the top of the first inning, Post 18 starting pitcher Jared Miller recovered to pitch five straight scoreless innings and watch hi...

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Mitchell Post 18's Jared Miller throws a pitch during a Legion baseball game against Yankton on Tuesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell (Eric Mayer/Republic)

A slow start didn't hamper the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team on Tuesday.

After allowing four earned runs in the top of the first inning, Post 18 starting pitcher Jared Miller recovered to pitch five straight scoreless innings and watch his team rally back from an early deficit, as Mitchell topped Yankton 12-8 in nine innings on a hot evening at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

Miller allowed three hits in the first inning and then surrendered one more hit over 5 2/3 innings after that.

"After the first inning, he just pounded the zone," Post 18 head coach Luke Norden said about Miller's performance. "He did a great job of keeping us in the ballgame."

Trailing 4-0 after two innings, Post 18 scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. After a scoreless fourth inning, Mitchell tied the game up with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning-highlighted by an RBI triple by Carson Max. Max smacked a line drive that floated over the right fielder's head and advanced home on a throwing error to bring Mitchell within one run. Briggs Havlik singled and scored the tying run on a Bryce Geraets RBI single.

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"We had a guy in scoring position in all eight innings," Norden said. "That was huge for us."

After another scoreless inning pitched by Miller, Mitchell broke the game open by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jed Schmidt had two singles in the inning and Mitchell capitalized on a pair of Yankton errors in the inning to take a 10-4 lead.

"We don't expect a big, six-run inning like we got, but we gave ourselves a chance to score in every single inning which is gonna be huge for us at the end of the year," Norden said. "With nine-inning games, giving ourselves a chance to score is huge."

Yankton scored a run in the top of the seventh inning, but Mitchell responded with one run in the bottom of the seventh inning and added one more run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Miller picked up the win on the mound, allowing five runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched with three strikeouts.

"My teammates really backed me up and gave me some confidence," Miller said. "It really helped me and I just kept throwing strikes."

Koby Larson pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief, not allowing a run and only one hit, while Drew Kitchens pitched the top of the ninth inning, allowing Yankton's final three runs of the game.

Offensively, Mitchell finished the game with 14 hits, one error and 13 runners left on base, while Yankton had four hits, three errors and eight runners left on base.

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Spencer Neugebauer went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and four stolen bases, while Sam Michels went 1-for-4 with three runs scored. Schmidt and Max each had two RBIs, while Kitchens, Geraets and Pommer each had one RBI.

Defensively, Mitchell had two double plays and the game ended with catcher Jordan Dirkes making a catch in foul territory before crashing into the netting behind home plate.

"We had a couple of good plays in the hole at short to throw guys out and our infield defense played great tonight," Norden said. "We need to be aggressive in the strike zone and expect to score in every inning."

Post 18 (18-14) hosts Huron at 6 p.m. today at Cadwell Park.

"We've been hitting the ball a little bit better and we're getting a lot more base hits," Miller said. "We need to come back with the same effort."

Related Topics: CADWELL PARKBASEBALL
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