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Post 18 looking for 'consistency' in Legion season

Heading into the Legion baseball season, Post 18 head coach Luke Norden wants his Mitchell team to become more consistent. "Hopefully, we can build some overall consistency through everybody," Norden said. "All summer long, we're going to rely on...

Heading into the Legion baseball season, Post 18 head coach Luke Norden wants his Mitchell team to become more consistent.

"Hopefully, we can build some overall consistency through everybody," Norden said. "All summer long, we're going to rely on all of our guys to throw. We need to understand we're playing a schedule that is going to require everybody to throw."

After finishing the high school season with a record of 17-10 and missing the Class A state tournament, the team has shifted gears and players since the club baseball season ended on May 21 in Yankton.

Post 18, unlike the high school team, won't have a senior on the roster as Mitch Price and Devin Mehlhaff each elected not to play Legion baseball this summer. Besides losing two senior players, Post 18 added sophomore Baley Miller, who played on the Kernels boys tennis team this spring.

Without a senior on the roster, Norden said he expects the entire team to show leadership in different situations.
"We need all our guys to trust each other to do their job," Norden said. "The leadership doesn't just rely on the junior class, but on everybody, to show all their teammates that they're ready to play and to play at a high level on the Legion squad."

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Coincidentally, Mitchell's Legion baseball schedule started where the high school season ended-in Yankton.

Norden said having 11 days off between seasons - compared to last year when Mitchell's club season ended and the Legion schedule began on the next day - has helped the team.

"One of the nice things about having a little bit of a break was to get some rest," Norden said. "We've got some quality practice time with the new bats and out in the bullpen, too."

One of the biggests changes from the club baseball season to the Legion season is the switch from wooden bats to metal bats.

"The main thing is a little bit of confidence at the plate," Norden said about the difference between the two bat types. "You swing something different and in the past we've had some guys lifted up by it."

Down the final stretch of the club baseball season, Mitchell's offensive production slowed in terms of hits and runs and Norden said he hopes the switch to metal bats will equal more runs for Post 18.

"Hopefully, we can get quite a few hits in the first couple of games," Norden said. "We have to go out and play well with whoever is pitching for us. The first couple of weeks is about building some consistency with everyone that is going to see the mound."

Post 18's schedule begins with six games on the road before the first home game against Vermillion at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Cadwell Park. The team will compete in three tournaments this summer in Omaha, Nebraska, Rochester, Minnesota and Minneapolis.

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