Mitchell baseball takes down Sioux Falls Jefferson, advances to state qualification game
The Kernels beat Sioux Falls Jefferson 5-3 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the state tournament qualification game that will begin at approximately 4:30 p.m.
MITCHELL — A single win stands between the Mitchell High School baseball team’s potential return trip to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2019, after a 5-3 win against Sioux Falls Jefferson on Saturday afternoon at Cadwell Park.
The No. 4 Kernels (16-7) took down No. 13-seeded Sioux Falls Jefferson (6-19) behind seven hits that resulted in five runs.
After a scoreless first inning, Jefferson managed to score two runs in the second after having loaded bases with zero outs. Mitchell responded in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs with singles from Jake Helleloid, Brandon Sparks and Seth Muth.
The Kernels held a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth inning, but after Landon Waddell walked three batters and had a wild pitch, Jefferson tied the game at three at the top of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Carson Fahey reached first base on an error by Jefferson’s infield. Dylan Soulek singled to center field, allowing Fahey to get home and have Mitchell regain the lead 4-3. Jonah Schmidt followed up Soulek’s single with a single of his own, bringing home Soulek and extending the lead to 5-3.
Waddell and Soulek combined to allow only one hit over the next three innings, sealing the win for the Kernels.
“We gave up a little run here and there, but we had some really quality at-bats after each time they were able to score,” Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. “We stayed composed when we had guys on base, and our pitchers did a good job of damage control. We made sure the deficit never became too big and we played well defensively down the stretch.”
Schmidt and Helleloid had two hits each in the contest while Fahey, Schmidt, Soulek, Muth and Sparks had one RBI apiece. Waddell struck out eight batters and allowed three runs and two hits in six innings. Soulek pitched in the top of the seventh inning and only allowed one hit.
Mitchell will play the winner of No. 5 Harrisburg and No.12 Sturgis in the state tournament qualification game at approximately 4:30 p.m, but Norden said it doesn’t matter who the Kernels face next and that they need to keep the focus on themselves.
“We need to worry about ourselves and not who we’re playing,” Norden said. “We need to just support each and every one of our teammates and focus on the things that we do well."