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Pierre ends Post 18 season

RAPID CITY -- For a second consecutive day, the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team couldn't get off to a solid start. In the double-elimination Region 3A tournament, it meant the season coming to an end for Mitchell. Post 18 scored three runs ...

RAPID CITY - For a second consecutive day, the Mitchell Post 18 Legion baseball team couldn't get off to a solid start.

In the double-elimination Region 3A tournament, it meant the season coming to an end for Mitchell.

Post 18 scored three runs late in the game but couldn't rally from a 7-0 deficit, as Pierre Post 8 knocked out Mitchell 8-3 in an elimination game Thursday at Fitzgerald Stadium in Rapid City.

After an opening-round loss on to Rapid City Post 22 on Wednesday and Thursday's loss, Mitchell's season ends with a 22-19 record.

"In the two games, we saw a lot of fastballs," said Post 18 coach Luke Norden. "We just couldn't pull the trigger and take advantage. We did a great job of laying off the bad pitches but when we got pitches to hit and drive, we just didn't come through."

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Mitchell's offense was held to only two hits in the first seven innings of play - Jed Schmidt double in the first inning and a Carson Max single in the sixth inning. Nevertheless, Mitchell got runners to third base in the first and fourth innings but couldn't push across a run in those situations and left nine runners on base for the game.

Pierre pitcher Quinn Reimers held the keys to the Mitchell offense for seven innings, holding Mitchell to just two hits and recording three strikeouts, while being held responsible for two of the three runs Post 18 scored in the eighth inning. In the eighth, Sam Michels took a bases-loaded walk to score Mitchell's first run and Carson Max singled to center field in the next at-bat to trim the lead to 7-3. But Mitchell couldn't get any closer.

Pierre (31-15) led 2-0 after four innings but broke through for four innings in the fifth inning. After an RBI single from Gabe King and Austin Hoss drove in a run with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, Hunter Jockheck had a two-RBI single to make it 6-0 for Post 8.

Norden said Mitchell had a chance to get out of the inning in the fifth inning but couldn't quite make the play in the infield, something that was a turning point in the game.

"I think we just got flustered after that," he said. "If we get out of that inning, we could have avoided what ended up being a big turning point in the game."

Briggs Havlik took the loss for Mitchell, allowing 10 hits and five earned runs in the 4 1/3 innings, while striking out four. Jed Schmidt finished the game, allowing four hits, two runs (one earned) and striking out two in 3 2/3 innings.

Spencer Neugebauer had two hits for Mitchell, while Michels, Max and Schmidt each had one hit. Elijah Pommer, Schmidt and Neugebauer each scored runs for Post 18.

Norden said he's already looking forward to next season, especially since there's no seniors on the current team and everyone can return.

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"We were probably just a bit too inconsistent this summer and we had stretches where we really didn't play up to our potential," he said. "In big-game situations, we have to have big-time players and that's something we're going to have to work on, so that we can play up to our potential in big games next year."

After Post 22 defeated Post 320 in a battle of Rapid City teams in the winner's bracket, 10-5, Pierre came back to defeat Post 320, 17-6. Today, Pierre and Post 22 will battle for first place in the region at 5 p.m. Central, with both teams assured of going to the state tournament. Post 320 will finish third and will host Brookings on Saturday in the state play-in game.

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