Jun. 11—PIERRE — Mitchell Post 18 managed just seven hits and dropped a pair of tight American Legion baseball games to Pierre Post 8 on Thursday. Mitchell lost 4-3 in Game 1 and 5-2 in Game 2.
Mitchell (4-10) recorded four hits in the first game and three hits in the second game. It had a 3-0 advantage in the second game, but went eight scoreless innings and its bats were held in check.
In the first inning of Game 1, Parker Bollinger scored from third base on an error by the catcher. Joe VanOverschelde recorded a two-out, two-run single in the top of the third for a 3-0 advantage. However, Pierre scored three runs in the fourth and knotted the score at 3-3.
"We played well and we had one error," Mitchell coach Luke Norden said. "We had one out and nobody on base, a small ground ball in the infield and we threw it away and the wheels fell off."
In the sixth inning, Cade Hinkle's ground ball to right field lifted Post 8 to the victory. In the seventh inning, Pierre's Jack Van Camp retired the side to secure the win.
Jonah Schmidt, Dylan Soulek and Mason Geraets added hits in the first game. Jake Helleloid took the loss for Post 18. He allowed six hits, three earned runs and struck out five batters.
Norden stressed Post 18 needs to have a better approach at the plate to eliminate the offensive woes.
"We have two really good at-bats and the next guy comes up and doesn't have a plan," Norden said. "We just have guys thinking too much, instead of going out and just playing and being free and just going out and playing."
In the fifth inning of Game 2, Brock Sparks hit a two-out, two-run single, cutting the margin to 3-1. After Sparks advanced to third base on an error, he scored off Dylan Soulek's double to left field. However, Pierre tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning on a Hinkle RBI single and a Matthew Hanson RBI groundout. Post 18 went down in the order in the seventh.
Helleloid added a hit for Mitchell.
Ty Neugebauer took the loss. He scattered eight hits, allowed four earned runs and struck out five batters in six innings.
"We got two complete games and we lost two games," Norden said. "That can't happen. We can't have two guys go out and throw well and not have to go to the pen and lose two games. We just have to be tougher. We flat out just have to be tougher to be able to go out and get two wins for those guys."
Post 18 plays in the Lewis & Clark Tournament in Yankton this weekend. Mitchell plays Tea and Vermillion on Friday.