No.3 Bluejackets score 35 runs in shutout victory over White River Valley

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – Wednesday night’s matchup for Mitchell appeared to be a bit of a mismatch on paper.

They welcomed White River Valley to Gary Seitzinger Field, a team that entered the night without a win on the season, giving up an average of 14 runs in their three losses.

On the other hand, you had the Bluejackets, the defending regional champions and #3 ranked team in the state at the 2A level in the most recent IHBCA poll, who began the evening with seven wins on the season in nine games.

On the field, it went about as well as it could’ve for Mitchell, who were playing their third game in three nights. They scored 35 runs on their way to a shutout win, leaving nothing in doubt.

For Bluejackets head coach Jerry Chaney, it wasn’t his team’s 17-run first inning, their 27 total hits, 31 RBIs, or any other statistical anomaly from the evening that stood out to him most about his team’s performance, rather it was the sportsmanship they showed in the situation.

Jayden King steps onto third after a triple against White River Valley

“What I liked is that their coach came up to me after the game and said ‘you’ve got a class program with class kids,’ and that’s the program that we want,” he said. “Obviously there’s a difference between the two teams and my team took care of business. And, they showed a lot of class in it. Those kids, WRV, they tried. They played as hard they could, and we were due to hit and we did.”

Moving through their nearly entire dugout during the game, 14 different hitters stepped to the plate for Mitchell, with 10 earning hits; Simon Gaines (3-3), AJ Sarver (4-4), Gibson Glassco (3-4), Bryson Zeeks (2-2), Ethan Turner (4-6), Michael Webster (1-2), Jaydan King (3-3) and Ashton Luman (4-6). Turner led the team in RBIs on the night with six.

Kody Earl was on the hill for the Bluejackets for a complete game, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out eight.

Ethan Turner connects with a pitch against White River Valley

Mitchell’s focused quickly moved to the next game on the schedule, which happens to be one of their more important of the season.

On Friday, they’ll travel to Leopold to take on Perry Central, in what could a game to decide the winner of the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference championship.

The two are the only remaining unbeaten schools in the PLAC, with the Bluejackets sitting at 3-0 and the Commodores at 1-0.

This was the case last season, as the two schools squared off in what was ultimately the deciding game for the PLAC crown, won by Perry Central 13-6 on their way to an undeafeated conference title. The loss was Mitchell’s only one in PLAC play that year.

Kody Earl throws a pitch against White River Valley

The Bluejackets got their revenge in the regional championship game in the tune of a 7-1 win, though things will be different this time around after some senior graduations.

The Commodores will be without last year’s top starting pitcher Garrett Scamahorn, who troubled Mitchell with nearly 90 mph throws in both matchups.

The Bluejackets will be without last year’s catcher Carsyn Herald, who played a pivotal roll in the team’s postseason success, including a walk-off in the sectional championship game against Sullivan to send the team into the regional matchup.

“Perry, ourselves, West Washington and any of those teams can win and I think maybe even Orleans can sneak up there. But the focus is Friday night. We’ve got to take care of business down there. I think the kids are going to come after it,” Chaney said. “We’ve got two alumni coming back to throw to us tomorrow night at practice, so that’ll help a lot. A lot of BP. The guys have gotta get ready. Kids gotta believe and I believe we can do it.”