#8 Bluejackets pick up wins over 1A #9 Bloomfield, Springs Valley

By Noah Dalton

Mitchell High School improved to 5-0 over the weekend, picking up victories over the #9 team in 1A, Bloomfield, and Springs Valley, in the first Patoka Lake Athletic Conference game of the year.

Glassco’s walk-off pushes Mitchell past Bloomfield 2-1 in home opener

MITCHELL – The Bluejackets’ first triumph of the weekend came against one of the top 1A teams in the state, the #9 ranked Cardinals.

It was a close battle on Friday night, but one that Mitchell narrowly squeaked by way of a walk-off RBI single from Gibson Glassco, which put them out front in the bottom of the seventh inning for the 2-1 win.

Both sides were locked into a tight, scoreless game through the top of the fifth when Simon Gaines doubled on a ground ball down the third base line, putting him into scoring position. Next to bat was AJ Sarver, who bunted to reach first base, also advancing Gaines to third, where he’d take off from to score the game’s first run, following an error from Bloodfield’s defense.

Simon Gaines swings at a pitch against Springs Valley

It didn’t take long for the Cardinals to respond, starting the top of the sixth inning with back-to-back singles from Dillon Warnick and Tyler Patterson, leaving runners at the corners, with Warnick at third and Patterson at first. In the next at-bat, an error from Mitchell gave way for Warnick to cross home plate to even things up at 1-1.

The game remained in a deadlock until the bottom of the seventh when Gaines singled to lead things off, stealing second during the next at-bat, before eventually reaching third on a wild pitch with just one out recorded. This set up Glassco, who stepped into the batter’s box and earned a base hit to left field, bringing Gaines back home to score the winning run, allowing Mitchell to take the game 2-1.

Gibson Glassco approaches the plate against Springs Valley

Both Gaines and Glassco recorded two hits, with Sarver, Ben Seitzinger, and Bryson Zeeks each adding one.

Gaines also was on the mound for Mitchell, throwing a complete game and allowing four hits with seven strikeouts.

“Very good win against two quality pitchers. Simon pitched a great game in his first start of the year. AJ Sarver had a great bunt that chased our first run in. Gibson stepped up with a very nice game-winning hit,” said Bluejackets head coach Jerry Chaney.

Bluejackets win first PLAC game of the season with 10-0 shutout against Springs Valley

MITCHELL – The winning ways for Mitchell carried on the following afternoon in their first PLAC matchup of the season, taking on Springs Valley. In what was a strong showing for the Bluejackets, they eventually took the win in just six innings with a 10-0 shutout.

Coming off a dominant 16-strikeout performance in his last start against Linton-Stockton, Seitzinger’s momentum carried over into Saturday’s game, as the senior pitcher allowed just two hits and racked up 14 Ks against the Blackhawks.

Ben Seitzinger throws a pitch against Springs Valley

Mitchell also had a strong outing offensively, batting in eight runs with six hits, while also drawing nine walks to get runners on base.

Those walks were a big part of what helped get them on the board in the bottom of the first, with Gaines leading off with a base hit, followed by consecutive walks from Sarver and Seitzinger to load the bags. This eventually set up Zeeks, who hit a ground ball that was thrown to second to force out pinch-runner Gavin Martin but allowed Gaines to score from third.

With Zeeks on first and Sarver on third, the next Mitchell hitter, Ethan Turner stepped to the plate. During his attempt, Zeeks ran to second for a steal, creating a distraction that allowed Sarver to rush in from third, giving the Bluejackets a 2-0 advantage.

AJ Sarver celebrates with Ethan Turner after scoring a run against Springs Valley

After a scoreless second inning, Mitchell made their way back onto the scoreboard in the third.

After a single to kick things off from Sarver, he stole second base, where he’d eventually score from after a double from Glassco. Again in the third, it was the ability to draw walks that was getting the job for Mitchell, who loaded up the bases again and eventually forced in a runner, Glassco, after three straight walks, putting them up 4-0.

Things picked back up again for the Bluejackets in the bottom of the fifth, when they were able to once again load up the bases for Gaines, who crushed a double to left field, clearing them for three more runs, scored by Turner, Ashton Luman and Kody Earl.

They added three more runs to their total in the bottom of the sixth, an inning where they recorded just one hit. This time around, their first three batters, Seitzinger, Glassco and Zeeks were hit by pitches, putting a runner at each stop yet again. From that point, Turner, Zeeks and Luman both drove runners in, with Luman’s being the team’s 10th run, which initiated the mercy rule and ended play.

Despite a one-sided result, Chaney said the game wasn’t as comfortable for his team as it may have appeared, commending the play of Springs Valley, their starting pitcher Colton Crist and their coaching staff.

“I thought the Valley kids played their hearts out. They played a really good game. The coach is a great coach and they made the routine plays and we were hitting it right at them, so it wasn’t as comfortable as the final score may make it seem,” said Chaney.

“I thought we had timely hits. We were patient at the plate. Ben was dominant on the hill again. But, I think in the past few days, we’ve beaten two pretty good teams. Honestly, (Crist), he was bringing it. I mean, I think we only had one or two hits through three innings on him, so it was a good, quality team win. Timely hits, good defense and Simon’s base-clearing double was huge in that last inning that really broke it open, but a good win for the Jackets overall.”

Ethan Turner drives a pitch against Springs Valley

This win starts them out 1-0 in PLAC play, where they will be looking to once again contend for the conference crown. Last year, they finished in second place, losing just one conference game at the hands of Perry Central, who finished undefeated in PLAC games to win the title.

This year, as with every year, the PLAC championship is one of Mitchell’s goals and is something Chaney expects the team’s senior leadership can help them achieve.

“Every year our goals are basically this: We want to win a conference, we want to win sectional, we want to have a winning season and we want to turn boys into men. Those four goals have been my goals ever since I’ve been coaching and that’s what we’re gonna continue to do. And again, the success is based on the leadership of our seniors. They’re the ones pushing right now and they’re not letting us down, so it’s a good deal,” he said.