Connect with us
Dacotah Bank


Smittys drop heartbreaker in series opener against Mitchell

Brock Martin, of the Aberdeen Smittys, center, throws a pitch during a game earlier this season against Huron at Fossum Field. In the background at far left is the Smittys’ Casey Vining. Martin allowed only one hit against Mitchell Friday night, but the Smittys still fell 4-2. Photo by John Davis taken 7/12/2022

MITCHELL – The Aberdeen Smittys rallied to take a late lead, allowed only one hit all game, but still came up short in their opening round American Legion baseball playoff game against Mitchell Friday night.

The Smittys had a few defensive miscues with the game on the line and dropped a 4-2 decision in the best of three series.

“It was a frustrating loss considering we had them on the ropes late in the ballgame,” said Smittys coach Brandon Kusler.

Aberdeen trailed 1-0 heading into the sixth inning and had yet to score in 12 straight frames against Mitchell ace Jake Helleloid, who had shut them out earlier this summer.

The Smittys were able to finally break through with two runs in the sixth inning on run-scoring singles by Casey Vining and Nick Clemens.

However, that lead was short lived.

Mitchell, which had scored on a pair of walks and an error in the fifth inning, plated three runs without a hit in the bottom of the sixth.

A hit batter and a walk put two guys on base who moved over on an out. Mitchell then excuted a double-steal which resulted in one run and left a runner on third, who then scored on a sacrifice fly. Another run came in as a result of two errors.

That gave the home team a two-run cushion and spoiled a stellar pitching performance by Brock Martin.

“Brock Martin pitched his butt off and gave us probably his best start of the year. We can’t ask anymore from him giving us a chance to win like he did,” Kusler said. “When we have an opportunity to win a huge game like that against one of the best pitchers in the state in Jake Helleloid, we can’t afford to hand it to them like we did with late-inning defensive mistakes.”

The Smittys finished with three errors in all. Defense has been an issue from time to time this summer.

“There have been several games this year in which we fail to play solid baseball for all seven innings, which has hurt us all year and it hurt us today as well,” Kusler said.

The Smittys, 22-22, must now defeat Mitchell twice today to keep their season alive. The first game starts at noon and if a second is needed it would be at 2 p.m.

“Our backs are against the wall now, but we’re right there, and we’re fully capable of going out and putting two complete games together (Saturday) to get the job done,” Kusler said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in this team.”

Aberdeen Smittys 000  002 0 – 2 4 3

Mitchell 000 013 x – 4 1 2

Brock Martin, Brian Holmstrom (6) and Andrew Woehl; Jake Helleloid and Landon Waddell. 2B – Mitchell, Mason Geraets.

Purchase a Photo

Browse By Category

Browse By Month

More in Baseball

Subscribe Today!