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Mitchell still looking for more consistency

When the baseball season shifted from the club season into the Legion season, Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said he wanted to see more consistency.

When the baseball season shifted from the club season into the Legion season, Mitchell head coach Luke Norden said he wanted to see more consistency.

Twenty-six games in, Post 18 is still working towards finding more stability at the plate and on the mound.

After Monday's split with Pierre, Mitchell's record sits at 15-11 heading into the final month of the Legion season.

"We've had our ups and downs," Norden said about the first half the Legion season. "We're really focused on a little more consistency in pitching and hitting. Hopefully, we can get those going in the right direction for the final half of the season."

Post 18 opened the season 10-3 after winning three out of four games in a tournament in Omaha, Nebraska. After the fast start, Mitchell won just one game out of its next seven games to drop to 11-9. In its last six games, Mitchell is 4-2 and Norden said every player has played a role in the team's winning record.

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"Everybody has had success this summer and those things can get lost when you don't perform well as a team," Norden said. "We've had some really good individual performances from everybody."

Offensively, Mitchell is hitting .310 as a team and has scored double-digit runs in 14 games this season. Despite a slight lull in offense for four games, Mitchell's hitting has been one of the team's biggest strengths along with its speed.

Mitchell has stolen 87 bases as a team, with Jed Schmidt leading the team with 25 stolen bases and Spencer Neugebauer adding 20 stolen bases.

"That's been a huge key for us," Norden said. "We don't have to sacrifice bunt as much to get guys into scoring position. We've fortunate to have the speed that we have and utilize that."

Norden also pointed out the offense has recorded 130 walks and has been hit by a pitch 58 times for 188 free bases, which averages out to more than seven free passes per game.

"That's huge added to our hits," Norden said. "If our pitching would have been a little more consistent with our offensive numbers, our record could be a little bit better than it is. But we have some good things going for us this summer."

On the mound, Norden said at the beginning of the season every player would need to provide some innings on the mound because of the amount of games Post 18 would play. Norden said he's seen all his pitchers find success, but need to build on the strengths and not think too much about mistakes.

"Everyone of our pitchers at some point this summer, has throw really well," Norden said. "Guys know they can go out there and do it. We need to look at those bright spots."

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One stat Norden wants to see Post 18 pitchers improve on is the number of pitches per inning.

"We pitch too many pitches per inning," Norden said. "If we drop that down a bit, it'd really help us out."

In 26 games, Mitchell pitchers are averaging 18 pitches per inning and Norden said he'd like to see that number come down as the season progresses.

Post 18 continues its season today against Sioux Falls East at 6 p.m. in Sioux Falls.

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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