Miners show fight in season opener against Mitchell

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Junior Blaike Husband pitched four innings against Mitchell, striking out four as the Miners fell 4-2 to Mitchell in their season opener.
Photo by Luke Morey.

On Monday, Apr. 1, the Linton baseball team started their season with a home game against Mitchell.

The Miners fell 4-2 to undefeated Mitchell as Linton will next take on West Vigo on Wednesday, Apr. 3.

After junior Blaike Husband gave up a walk in the first at-bat for Mitchell, a pop up to senior Jamison Fields was followed by a ground out and another pop out as the Miners forced the end of the inning.

On the offensive side, sophomore Russell Goodman started the game for the Miners with a stand-up double.

The next three up for the Miners struck out as both teams were tied at 0 after one inning.

To start the top of the second, senior Holden Nagy caught a fly out before a double put Mitchell back on the bases.

Husband then shut down the inning with two straight strikeouts, both caught looking.

The Miners went three up, three down in the bottom of the second before Mitchell did the same in the top of the third.

Linton again was unable to get going against Mitchell senior Ben Sietzinger, who forced the Miners into another three up, three down inning in the bottom of the third.

After a single and two walks loaded the bases, a wild pitch scored the first runner before a sacrifice fly put Mitchell up 2-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Linton's Fields got on base with a single before stealing second base.

Sophomore Jackson Miller stepped up and hit a single that drove in Fields, bringing the score to 2-1.

The Miner defense held Mitchell in the top of the fifth, but Linton went three up, three down to end the fifth inning.

Two walks started the top of the sixth for Mitchell, before the team stole home to go up 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Linton was unable to get anything going in the bottom of the sixth after a senior Brayden Husband double, as Mitchell added another run on a sacrifice fly to go up 4-1 into the final three outs for Linton.

Miller was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the seventh, before senior Tristan York grounded into a fielder's choice.

Sophomore Gage Sullivan singled to drive in York, but the Miners fell 4-2.

Goodman, Brayden Husband, Fields, Miller and Sullivan each had a hit for the Miners, while Fields and York each had a run for Linton.

Miller and Sullivan each had an RBI.

Blaike Husband pitched four innings, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out four.

"I thought Blaike was resilient," Head Coach Jacob Harden said. "He had a great approach, he didn't back down against a good lineup. He commanded the zone. Defensively I thought we played really well, I'm very proud of the way we fought. (Mitchell) is solid, and we had a chance. It's going to hurt, but we've got to have a short memory."

York pitched three innings, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out one.

"We were grinding out at bats," Harden said. "Once we start playing small ball better, I think that bodes well. Seitzinger is one of the best in the state, he played a heck of a game. You've got to tip your hat to Mitchell."

Seitzinger had 16 strikeouts for Mitchell as the team is 3-0 early in the year.

"The more we get live reps, the better we'll be," Harden said. "I think we're right there. In my three years here, we're yet to win the first game of the year, but the only game we care about is the end of the season. I'm pumped for these guys. If we see Mitchell in May, I think we might flip the script."

Blaike was on the mound to start of the Miners, pitching to his brother Brayden who was catching.

Brayden had six put outs for the Miners.

"Blaike, over spring break, we were working on five or six guys who could have started tonight," Harden said. "We thought with Blaike, we would have the best defense behind him, plus we knew he had a good temperament and it ended up working really well. Plus it helps he's pitching to his brother who's calling the pitches. We went back and forth on Brayden calling pitches but we decided, it's his team and he called all the pitches tonight. I thought he had a heck of a game, it made our job easier knowing we had a senior who could call the game."

While the Husband brothers were two that Harden highlighted, they were far from the only players the head coach recognized.

Fields had four put outs, while Nagy had two. Sophomore Casen Goodman, Miller and Sullivan had two, while Boyd and York each had one.

"(Sophomore) Casen Goodman, he had never played outfield," Harden said. "We've been preaching we over me and our best defense involved him in the outfield, and he made so many plays. He saved at least two runs for us, he looked like a natural out there. Owen Smith, we told him last night that he would be dressing. He came out in the outfield (when York went to pitch) and he was steady. Him not folding was huge. Just his presence filling that role moved mountains. Jackson and Jamison in the infield, Gage held down third base, Ty as our scooper trooper, Tristan, Holden made some big plays. Everyone tonight contributed, and I'm glad they're all in my dugout. I'd take them over anyone in the country."

After the Miners take on West Vigo, the team hosts Sullivan on Thursday before traveling to take on Eastern Greene on Saturday, Apr. 6.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: