Historic season for No. 6 Bluejackets ends with semi-state loss to Heritage Christian

By Noah Dalton

MOORESVILLE — On Saturday, a historic season for Mitchell High School, which included the program’s first regional championship, first sectional win in nearly two decades and winning a program-record 26 games came to an end, suffering defeat in their 2A semi-state semifinal matchup against Heritage Christian.

They fell by a final score of 12-4 against the Eagles after giving up nine runs in the first inning.

Heritage Christian was able to bat through their entire lineup in the inning, earning seven hits with the top three in their lineup batting twice.

“We picked a bad game to have a bad inning,” said Bluejackets head coach Jerry Chaney. “It happens and that’s baseball. We knew some things could go wrong and they did and unfortunately, we couldn’t recover from it. Some little balls went where they shouldn’t have gone, and we made a couple of errors and we gave a good team an opportunity there. We knew they were going to be good. Obviously, they’ve got a good team, so you’ve gotta tip your hat to them.”

The exclamation point to Heritage Christian’s unstoppable first inning was a three-run homer from senior starting pitcher Andrew Wiggins.

Heritage Christian’s Andrew Wiggins (22) celebrates his first inning homer with his teammates

Wiggins, ranked the 82nd-best high school prospect in the country by Baseball America and an Indiana University commit, left his mark all over the game by the time it was over, striking out twelve from the mound across five innings and batting in three runs in one attempt, forcing intentional walks for the remainder of his appearances at the plate.

“We could have been out of that inning before that happened, I think that was the second time through that he hit that. If you get out of that inning unscathed, it’d be a different opportunity. So he took advantage of us. He’s a great player,” Chaney said regarding Wiggins first-inning HR.

The Bluejackets continued to battle, scoring three runs of their own in the top of the second inning.

Bryson Zeeks, Gibson Glassco and Kody Earl were all able to reach base, loading them for Simon Gaines, who hit a double to center field to bring each of them home, making it a 3-9 game.

Mitchell’s Kody Earl hypes up a section of Bluejackets fans after scoring against Heritage Christian

Gaines went on to finish the game a perfect 3-3 at the plate, with three of the team’s four RBIs.

Mitchell struck again in the top of the fourth, loading the bases once again for Ben Seitzinger, who batted home Ashton Luman for the team’s fourth run of the game.

Though the Bluejackets played a different game beyond the first inning, fighting the once-dominant Wiggins at the plate and forcing him off the mound in the fifth after his pitch count hit the maximum number allowed by IHSAA and even outscoring the Eagles 4-3 for the rest of the game after the first, they weren’t able to overcome the nine-run hole that had previously been dug.

“I thought we battled him at the plate. I mean, we obviously got him out of the box. We did a lot of good things right. You’d think four runs would be a lot in a game like this, but we just had that bad inning,” said Chaney.

Though it came to an end on Saturday, this season and postseason run from Mitchell was something the team and members of the community will likely remember for many years to come.

Ben Seitzinger throws a pitch for Mitchell in their semi-state matchup against Heritage Christian

Their opening-round sectional matchup, a nail-biter against South Knox saw the Warriors threaten to tie up the game in the final inning before Bluejackets’ senior catcher Carsyn Herald threw out a runner attempting to steal third to end the game.

In the next round, Mitchell faced Linton-Stockton, who knocked them out of the postseason last year in an 11-inning classic, which saw them comeback from a three-run deficit to tie things up in the bottom of the seventh, eventually winning by way of a walk-off from Luman.

Later that evening, they took on Sullivan in a game that once again saw them comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Starting the inning off down by two runs, the Bluejackets were able to tie up the game before a hit from Herald secured their sectional championship.

In the regional championship, they faced Perry Central, a team that beat Mitchell for the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference championship back in April. They were able to avenge that loss, beating the Commodores 7-1 to advance to Saturday’s semi-state.

Mitchell’s Simon Gaines drives a pitch against Heritage Christian

“We had a great season. We had a great run and once these kids take the time to realize what they’ve done they’ll say ‘Oh, wow, this was a great season.’ Today, it hurts. It hurts our seniors, Owen and Carsyn, and it hurts these kids because they had aspirations of going to Victory Field. But, in the long run, we had a great year and they need to realize that they did a lot of great things,” said Chaney.

Each sectional game and the regional championship were played in Mitchell at Gary Seitzinger field, with the support of the hometown crowd increasing with each win.

That support from the community carried all the way to Mooresville, with many making the trip and packing the stands to support the Bluejackets in their quest to bring home a state championship.

“It was beautiful. It was amazing. Danny Reynolds, my assistant coach, said that if you’re going to rob a bank in Mitchell today would be the day,” Chaney said after seeing the traveling crowd in Mooresville. “But the fans were great. I mean they had team dinners, they supported us, they sent notes, they said all kinds of stuff. It’s been an awesome experience for the kids and that’s what I mean; when they’re all done and go through it all, they’ll realize this is a great year. They just had a bad game on a big day. You know, final eight though in the state, that’s pretty doggone good.”

Mitchell players gather around the pitching mound prior to the start of an inning against Heritage Christian

As the team continued to find success this season, Chaney noted the young fans and youth league players in attendance at games throughout the year, saying he hoped the team’s victories would continue to spark interest for young players in the area, drawing them to the program in the future, with his goal being to keep Mitchell as a successful baseball school for many years to come.

“We went out to Lehigh last night and the kids took pictures and they see that everyone looks up to someone and someone looks up to them. And, the kids see it and the little kids want to be like them. So, if the little kids will buy in and keep working hard I mean, the program will continue long after I’m gone, long after Coach Reynolds, long after this set of players are gone,” he said.

“This program needs to just keep going up, you know? And again, I’ll say this, when I first came here we weren’t like this and now baseball matters in Mitchell. We’ve had three or four winning seasons in a row. Obviously, we captured our first regional championship in school history. Elite Eight, got beat by a very good team. Those two teams in the Final Four are awfully good. ”

After Saturday’s games, the 2A State Championship is set.

Covenant Christian, who beat Heritage Christian later in the evening, will take on Illiana Christian on Friday, June 16 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.


Mitchellmore stats
Simon Gaines303310
AJ Sarver100031
Ben Seitzinger400101
Carsyn Herald200021
Gibson Glassco311011
Ethan Turner400002
Bryson Zeeks310002
Kody Earl210012
Ashton Luman210012
Connor Teague000000
Jaydan King
Aiden Premo

Batting2B: Simon Gaines
TB: Simon Gaines 4, Gibson Glassco
RBI: Simon Gaines 3, Ben Seitzinger
FC: Ben Seitzinger
HBP: Bryson Zeeks
TotalsTeam QAB: 15 (44.12%)
Kody Earl 2, Simon Gaines 3, Gibson Glassco 2, Carsyn Herald 2, Ashton Luman, AJ Sarver 3, Ben Seitzinger, Bryson Zeeks

Team LOB: 9FieldingE: AJ Sarver

Heritage Christianmore stats
Ryan Williams232110
Andrew Wiggins121230
Blake McDonald413200
Tyler Allemeier411100
Haydn Burzynski301211
JP Olesen310012
Tucker McVey411100
Will Ambrose220012
Alex Jackson311200
David Reed
Tucker McVey

Batting2B: Ryan Williams, Haydn Burzynski, Alex Jackson
HR: Andrew Wiggins
TB: Ryan Williams 3, Andrew Wiggins 4, Blake McDonald 3, Tyler Allemeier, Haydn Burzynski 2, Tucker McVey, Alex Jackson 2
RBI: Ryan Williams, Andrew Wiggins 2, Blake McDonald 2, Tyler Allemeier, Haydn Burzynski 2, Tucker McVey, Alex Jackson 2
HBP: Ryan Williams, Will Ambrose
SB: Tyler Allemeier, Haydn Burzynski, JP Olesen 2
CS: Ryan Williams, Haydn Burzynski
TotalsTeam QAB: 18 (51.43%)
Ryan Williams 2, Andrew Wiggins 4, Blake McDonald 3, Haydn Burzynski 2, JP Olesen 3, Tucker McVey, Alex Jackson, Will Ambrose 2

Team LOB: 5

Mitchellmore stats
Ben Seitzinger4.291.57181111461
Simon Gaines1.124.500210110

PitchingHBP: Ben Seitzinger 2
Pitches-Strikes: Simon Gaines 24-12, Ben Seitzinger 91-52
Groundouts-Flyouts: Simon Gaines 0-2, Ben Seitzinger 2-6
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Simon Gaines 2-6, Ben Seitzinger 20-29

Heritage Christianmore stats
Andrew Wiggins5.1129.5274441290
Tucker McVey1.214.786000000

PitchingHBP: Andrew Wiggins
Pitches-Strikes: Andrew Wiggins 129-68, Tucker McVey 14-11
Groundouts-Flyouts: Andrew Wiggins 1-1, Tucker McVey 1-4
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Andrew Wiggins 15-29, Tucker McVey 4-5