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Post 18 put together all-around performance to start busy week

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Mitchell's Brady Hawkins, left, catches a throw down to third base as West Central's Carson Wittrock slides in on Sunday at Cadwell Park. (Jeremy Karll / Republic)

The holiday weekend recharged Mitchell Post 18.

It took a “sweaty” batting practice in the summer heat, and then plated double-digit runs for the eighth time this season in a 12-2 five-inning win over West Central on Sunday at Cadwell Park. Mitchell hit all over the field, ran itself into scoring position and refound its groove at the plate after scoring 14 total runs in its first four July contests.

Paired with Ethan Price striking out six batters in a complete-game performance, and Mitchell experienced an ideal start to a seven-game week.

“We obviously had a couple of days off,” Post 18 coach Luke Norden said. “Guys enjoy a couple of days off, and it’s always good to see guys come back and they’re excited like they missed being out here. They take BP really well, just excited to come out.”

During an unprecedented season, Mitchell’s (13-12) bats have been a consistent force as its pitchers get into midseason form. It’s not usually the case, but it’s been welcome during a season which very little is normal.

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Post 18 has hit its way to 7.4 runs per game, with a .299 batting average and .449 on-base percentage.

Jonah Schmidt leads the team with 25 hits, while Koby Larson and Peyton Nash both have 24 hits -- all three players have an on-base percentage above .500 this season. Brady Hawkins and Austin Kerr have 20 and 19 hit, respectively, and each own a .461 on-base percentage. Mitchell has eight players with double-digit hits.

“With the way the season has gone with not getting our arms in shape and doing those things, it’s kind of a different season for us in the fact that our hitting has been ahead of our pitching,” Norden said. “… It takes longer to get your arm in game mode than it does your bat. We didn’t see live pitching right away, but guys were ready to go out and produce.”

Timely hits proved beneficial on Sunday, especially during a six-run fifth inning. Larson hit a three-run double and Hawkins hit a walk-off two-run homer over the left field fence, but what stood out to Norden was Post 18’s ability to run itself into scoring position. It had two steals and laid down a pair of sacrifice bunts, which later turned into runs.

It compiled into 12 runs, with Price holding West Central to three hits and two unearned runs on 83 pitches to keep Mitchell’s pitching staff rested heading into a busy week.

Post 18's doubleheader against Yankton was moved to noon Sunday at home, but it hosts Harrisburg for a 5 p.m. doubleheader today at Cadwell Park. It also hosts Rapid City Post 22 for a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, as well. Both Harrisburg (18-10) and Post 22 (18-7) entered the week with pitching staffs that could test Post 18’s bats.

“There’s some really good pitchers in Legion baseball this year,” Norden said. “It’s going to be really competitive. Hopefully we’ll continue our really competitive at-bats in the box and be really excited to go and compete against top arms.”

Notes: Mitchell Post 18 made changes to its final week of the regular season. It added a single home game against Renner at 6 p.m. on July 22 and its July 23 home contest against Brookings will now be a single game at 5 p.m. It still hosts doubleheaders against Aberdeen on July 24 and Brandon Valley on July 25. The Regional first round is on July 28-29

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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