Mitchell baseball drops 2 conference games
Errors and blown leads plagued Mitchell baseball in two conference losses this past week after the team won its first game of the season.
Mitchell lost 10-9 to Mountain Heritage Friday after going up 6-3 early in the game. The Mountaineers lost 12-10 in extra innings to Hendersonville at home March 21 – Mitchell had seven errors and let another early lead slip away.
Mitchell (1-5, 0-3) notched its first win Monday, March 20, by beating Cherokee 14-4 at home.
The Mountaineers picked up two runs in the first inning and four more in the second to go up 6-3 against the Cougars in Burnsville. It was 9-7 Mitchell to start the bottom of the sixth inning, but Heritage tallied three runs to take a 10-9 lead. Mitchell came up empty in the final inning.
The defeat marked the fourth time this season Mitchell has blown a lead. The Mountaineers outhit the Cougars 16 to 12, but Mitchell committed four errors.
“We’re just not taking care of the baseball,” said Brad Jones, Mitchell head coach. “I think right now we don’t know how to play with the lead.”
He said a couple of questionable calls cost Mitchell runs.
Ben Young, Trystan Jenkins and Justin Greene each had three RBIs for Mitchell. Young had four hits while Greene had three.
Greene started at pitcher and allowed six runs – only one earned – in 2 2/3 innings. He had one strikeout and gave up six hits. Luke Tipton came on in relief and pitched three 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs – one earned – on five hits with two strikeouts.
Greene’s three-run homer helped put Mitchell up 5-0 over Hendersonville after one inning, but the Bearcats’ four runs in the third tied the game at five. Mitchell was down 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh before scoring to force extra innings.
Hendersonville scored five runs in the top of the ninth. Mitchell rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the inning, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Greene led Mitchell with five RBIs off three hits and scored twice. Jenkins had two RBIs and pitched four innings. He allowed five runs off five hits with five strikeouts. Cole Gillespie pitched five innings and gave up seven runs.
Jones said Mitchell is hitting the ball well but “hurting ourselves when it really matters.” He said he challenged his players to fix the mistakes.
Mitchell scored in each inning against Cherokee, including five runs in the fifth. Greene had three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs. Jenkins had a home run, a triple -- he scored on a throwing error -- and four RBIs. Dustin Suiter added two RBIs.
Suiter pitched a complete game, allowing three earned runs on six hits to go with 10 strikeouts
Mitchell hosted Madison Tuesday. Results weren’t available at press time. Wednesday is a makeup game against Polk at home. Mitchell plays Avery Friday in Ledger.