By Noah Dalton
MITCHELL – 114 career hits, a school record held by former Mitchell High School shortstop Micah Terrell since 1993 was broken on Thursday by Bluejackets junior first baseman Ben Seitzinger, who earned the 115th hit of his high school career in the bottom of the fifth inning of the team’s 11-1 victory over West Washington.
He entered the game two hits shy of tying the school’s all-time mark, going 3-3 from the plate on the day to make history for Mitchell. His final swing of the game, a hard ground ball to right field that shot past the Senators’ infield defenders, brought in two runners to give the Bluejackets a 10-run lead and initiate the mercy rule to end the ballgame.
Mitchell head coach Jerry Chaney spoke after the game about the junior’s stellar career thus far for the school, as well as the historical ties that Seitzinger has to the program, with his grandfather, Gary Seitzinger, former Bluejackets head coach and namesake for the team’s home field, leading the team at the time Terrell set the previous mark.
“It’s an amazing stat to put up 115 hits in three years and that’s a record that has stood since Gary Seitzinger was the head coach. So, I think it’s appropriate that his grandson bust the record,” said Chaney. “Micah Terrell was a great player. Ben is a great player. It’s a phenomenal record. I’ve been trying to keep it a secret, but he knows. He knows all that stuff. So, it’s an awesome record. I’m very proud of him. Happy for him, happy for the family. It’s a big night and I’m glad he could do it at home.”
There is perhaps no last name more synonymous with Mitchell High School baseball than Seitzinger, with Ben following the footsteps of his grandfather, his father Trent and uncle Josh, who have all been part of the program previously.
Putting the history of his last name aside though, Ben has made his own individual mark on Bluejackets’ baseball. Not only does he now rest as the school’s all time hits leader, he, along with former teammate Dawson Glassco, were the school’s first players to be named to the all-state team since Terrell. Ben also set the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference record last year for highest single-season batting average in conference play, batting an astounding .900 (18-20). He also set the school’s season-high for walks last season with 24, finishing the year with 41 hits and a .512 average at the plate, all while remaining one of the team’s top pitchers.
This season, across 56 at bats he leads the team in a variety of statistical categories, including hits (29), RBIs (34), doubles (11), triples (4) and batting average (.518).
At the mound this season, Ben has pitched the most innings for Mitchell (36.1), with an undefeated record of 5-0 and a team-high 54 strikeouts, with a 2.505 ERA.
Bluejackets finish second in conference standings
Mitchell’s win over West Washington brought their season PLAC record to 5-1, with their lone loss in conference play coming at the hands of Perry Central, who finished atop the standings with a victory over Springs Valley on Thursday.
Defending the team’s conference championship, which the Bluejackets claimed last season after an undefeated conference run, was a top priority for Chaney and the team. Now, looking ahead toward rest of their scheduled matchups, as well as an eventual sectional clash with South Knox (13-4), the coach said the team will continue to have their sights set on improving.
“We’re just trying to get better every day. You know, we’re at 16 wins and we’re trying to get some more as the year goes on. But we’re just working every day trying to get better as a team and coming along and doing our thing,” he said.
Their next matchup will come the following evening when Mitchell will host Lawrence County foe Bedford North Lawrence. Despite the rivalry between the two schools, as well as Chaney’s history as a coach and player for BNL, he’s approaching the matchup as he would any other.
“Our goal was always the PLAC, to get better, and improve and do what we can. I know it’s a nice game for the fans and all that stuff, considering that I played there and coached there too. But, at the end of the day, they’re high school boys, we’re high school boys and my team just gets to play baseball and that’s what they need to focus on. Just come out and play baseball and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” he said.
West Washingtonmore stats
BattingTB: Hayden Morrow, Mason Cox, Clark Nance, Eli Haley
ROE: Eli Haley
SB: Mason Cox
TotalsTeam QAB: 4 (19.05%)
Hayden Morrow, Titan Williams, Chase Williams, Alex Williams
Team LOB: 5FieldingE: Titan Williams, Alex Williams 2
Batting2B: Ben Seitzinger
3B: Gibson Glassco
TB: Simon Gaines 2, Gibson Glassco 3, Carsyn Herald, Ashton Luman, AJ Sarver, Ben Seitzinger 4, Ethan Turner, Bryson Zeeks
RBI: Kody Earl, Simon Gaines, Gibson Glassco, Ben Seitzinger 3, Ethan Turner 2, Bryson Zeeks
ROE: Kody Earl, Simon Gaines
HBP: Carsyn Herald, Ben Seitzinger
SB: Kody Earl, Simon Gaines, Gibson Glassco, Ethan Turner, Bryson Zeeks 2
CS: Kody Earl
TotalsTeam QAB: 14 (46.67%)
Kody Earl, Simon Gaines 2, Gibson Glassco 2, Ashton Luman 2, AJ Sarver, Ben Seitzinger 3, Ethan Turner, Bryson Zeeks 2
Team LOB: 4FieldingE: Ethan Turner
West Washingtonmore stats
|Clark Nance||2.2||60||. 550||5||4||3||1||1||0|
|Hayden Morrow||1.2||39||. 564||3||5||5||2||0||0|
|Chase Williams||0.0||19||. 474||2||2||2||0||2||0|
PitchingL: Clark Nance
HBP: Hayden Morrow, Clark Nance
WP: Hayden Morrow 3
Pitches-Strikes: Hayden Morrow 39-22, Chase Williams 19-9, Clark Nance 60-33
Groundouts-Flyouts: Hayden Morrow 2-2, Chase Williams 0-0, Clark Nance 3-2
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Hayden Morrow 2-10, Chase Williams 1-4, Clark Nance 7-16
|Ben Seitzinger||5.0||57||. 702||4||1||1||5||1||0|
|Bryson Zeeks||0.0||0||. 000||0||0||0||0||0||0|
PitchingW: Ben Seitzinger
Pitches-Strikes: Ben Seitzinger 57-40, Bryson Zeeks 0-0
Groundouts-Flyouts: Ben Seitzinger 5-4, Bryson Zeeks 0-0
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Ben Seitzinger 15-21, Bryson Zeeks 0-0