Defending PLAC champion Bluejackets looking to build on success of last season

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – After an undefeated Patoka Lake Athletic Conference run last season, Mitchell High School will enter this season looking to replicate their success from last season.

The Bluejackets finished the 2022 season 17-10, 6-0 in PLAC games, before heading to sectionals, where they were defeated in the second round by Linton-Stockton 8-7.

After an 0-2 start to the season, Mitchell erupted, winning 10 of their next 11 games. During that stretch, the Bluejackets were dominant, outscoring their opponents 145-23 across the 12 games.

MHS Coach Jerry Chaney talks to his team during a practice on Wednesday

The Bluejackets success last season could in-part be credited to some historic individual performances from Ben Seitzinger and Dawson Glassco at the plate.

“We broke 13 offensive records last year as a school,” said head coach Jerry Chaney. “I guess we were pretty strong.”

Though Glassco, who was a senior last season, has since graduated, Seitzinger, who was named to the Indiana Prep Baseball Report’s All-State 2A team prior to the start of this season, returns to the team for his junior season.

Last year, Seitzinger finished the season with 41 hits, second on the team behind Glassco’s 47, batting .512. He also had the highest on base percentage on the team among starters with .623.

Mitchell’s Ben Seitzinger throws during a practice on Wednesday

Despite the team graduated their top pitcher from last year, Andrew Shepherd, who led the team in total innings pitched, as well as finishing the season with the team’s lowest ERA, they retained the team’s two other most active pitchers, Seitzinger and Simon Gaines.

Seitzinger threw 43 innings last season, striking out 56 batters on his way to a 6-1 record at the mound. Gaines started four games for Mitchell last season, pitching 27 innings and finishing with an ERA of 4.3.

In total, six of the Bluejacket’s starters from last season will return this year; those being first baseman and pitcher Seitzinger, shortstop and pitcher Gaines, third baseman Ethan Turner, second baseman Kody Earl, outfielder AJ Sarver and catcher Carsyn Herald.

Mitchell’s Ethan Turner gets ready to throw during a Wednesday practice

The Mitchell will look to once again complete a winning season and retain their PLAC crown.

“Our goal is again to have a winning season and win the PLAC if possible,” Chaney said.

They will play their first game of the season on Wednesday, March 29 against preseason 1A #3 Borden, who defeated them 1-0 in last season’s opening game.

The game will not only be the season opener for the Bluejackets, but it will also be the team’s first game on their newly turfed field, which Chaney said the program is extremely grateful for.

“We feel extremely blessed and happy and we really appreciate our school board and our superintendents and our principals for allowing us to get something like that. Believing in our school and our program, our kids. We just feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have such a great facility,” he said. “I mean, we had a great facility before but they’ve given us everything we could possibly want or need, it’s amazing. The kids are fired up, I’m fired up, it’s nice.”