Fielding woes haunt Mitchell Post 18 on opening day of Veterans Classic

·2 min read

Jun. 3—RAPID CITY — A rough start to the Veterans Classic saw Mitchell Post 18 surrender 30 runs on 17 errors in its first two games Thursday.

Mitchell committed 10 errors in an 11-4 tournament-opening loss to Laramie (Wyo.) and committed seven more errors as Fremont (Neb.) scored 16 runs in the sixth to turn a 3-1 game into a 19-1 loss at Fitzgerald Stadium.

"Gross is probably the best word," Post 18 head coach Luke Norden said. "Some of the errors we made were just bunnies. A high chopper we just couldn't get in the glove, a couple throwing errors, a couple guys that had no business throwing the ball to try to get an out. It's very uncharacteristic. It just adds to the number of pitches our pitchers have to throw."

Laramie's Aidan Morris bashed a home run on the second pitch of the game, but Post 18 ended the first frame 2-2 following back-to-back two-out RBI triples by Dylan Soulek and Joe Van Overschelde.

But errors began to set in. Laramie scored two runs in the second on errors with two outs, another in the third and two more in the sixth. Meanwhile, Mitchell (3-5) could not capitalize on 10 hits and six walks, as it left 11 runners on base in the game.

Ty Neugebauer allowed one earned run on six hits and one walk, while striking out six over 5 2/3 innings. Soulek and Van Overschelde had two hits apiece, while Jake Helleloid also knocked in a run.

"Ty threw really, really well. He had no business being taken out of the game," Norden said. "He probably should have gotten through that game in 80 pitches. And that's the worst part about it because we tax ourselves by having to throw too many pitches when we have errors."

For five innings, Mitchell eliminated its errors against Fremont, but mustered two hits in the game before the miscues returned. A low-scoring affair turned sour as Fremont scored 16 runs in the top of the sixth on 10 hits, six errors and four walks.

Helleloid allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks, fanning five in 5 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Fremont's Landon Mueller surrendered scattered one hit and one walk over four innings and struck out eight.

"Not being able to field the ball and not being able to throw strikes — we just have to batten down the hatches," Norden said. "Even when we get down four or five runs, we have to have someone on the mound with the mentality to say, 'Hey, I'm going to get us out of this right now.'"

Mitchell faces the Rapid City Post 22 Hardhats at 9 p.m. Friday.

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