BROOKINGS – The Bombers Black staved off elimination with a wild 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Mitchell during Class A 14U State Baseball Tournament action Friday afternoon at Bob Shelden Field.
Today’s schedule has Sioux Falls West and Renner facing off at noon as Brookings takes on unbeaten Watertown at 3 p.m. Watertown scored 11 runs in the final three innings to down the Barons, 12-10, in the undefeated game on Friday.
Mitchell used a six-run fifth inning to grab a 6-1 advantage and led 7-2 entering the bottom of the sixth.
Brookings put up a five-spot – highlighted by Jamison Honkomp’s bases-clearing double – to pull even at 7-all entering the seventh.
A throwing error proved to be the difference in the final frame, as Mason Bebensee scored the winning run and the Bombers Black advanced.
“We didn’t show up early, but we battled back in the late innings and it turned out to be a win,” said Brookings coach Jacob Meyer. “And at the state tournament, I guess a win is a win – it gets us to Saturday. That’s all we can say.
“We’re around on Saturday of the state tournament; anything can happen; we’ve got our ace going (Saturday), it gives us a chance to win.”
Cole Mahlum pitched two innings of hitless ball to earn the win, striking out four of the nine batters he faced while issuing a pair of walks.
Mahlum drew a base on balls to lead off the bottom of the third, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on Honkomp’s sacrifice fly to put the Bombers Black ahead 1-0.
Brookings starter Max Struck faced the minimum through four innings, allowing just one hit, before running into trouble in the fifth.
Consecutive singles by Tate Ellwein, Tucker Vilhauer and JJ Armour got Mitchell on the board.
Nick Lord and Jacob Schmuacher then had back-to-back RBI triples to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
After Parker Bollinger walked, Masen Thompson tallied an RBI single. Bollinger stole third and scored on an error on the play. Following an Evan Demaranville hit, Ellwein reached on a dropped third strike. The wild pitch allowed Thompson to sprint home and push the advantage to 6-1.
Jackson Krogman walked in the bottom of the fifth. Mahlum hit into a fielder’s choice and stole second.
Maxwell Kjelden came through with an RBI double, leaving the score at 6-2.
Mitchell scored its final run in the sixth.
Armour and Lord singled and Schumacher was hit by a pitch, before Bollinger lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
The Bombers Black’s rally began with one out in the bottom of the sixth as Wes Koenig and Kyle Bauer singled and Henry Hammrich reached on an error to load the bases.
Koenig and Bauer scored on wild pitches to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Krogman drew a base on balls – his third of the game – but was picked off at first for the second out. However, Mahlum was hit by a pitch and Kjelden walked to keep the rally going.
That’s when Honkomp stepped to the plate. The lefty ripped a 1-0 pitch to left-center field for a three-run double, knotting things up at 7-7.
Aberdeen threatened in the seventh.
Vilhauer was hit by a pitch with two away and stole second. He moved to third on a botched pickoff attempt at second. On the play, Brookings second baseman Kjelden went down with an apparent ankle injury and had to leave the game.
Lord walked to put runners at the corners; however, Mahlum struck out Schumacher to end the threat.
The bottom of the seventh saw Bebensee draw a leadoff walk and Koenig get hit by a pitch while trying to bunt.
Bauer laid down a bunt. Mitchell pitcher Demaranville fielded the ball but his throw to first sailed into right field, allowing Bebensee to scamper home and complete the comeback.
“When we’re down, we just all really have to talk about who’s ready to play here?” Meyer said when asked if anything was said with his team facing a late five-run deficit. “When we get down in games, it’s often because we’re not ready to play early in the game and that’s what happened today. We said, ‘who’s ready to play? Who’s ready to come out, get these runs back and see what we can do?’”
Honkomp finished with four RBIs.
Vilhauer, Armour and Lord each totaled two hits for Mitchell.
Demaranville gave up eight runs – two earned – on five hits and nine walks with five strikeouts in six-plus innings. He threw 140 pitches.
BROOKINGS 8, MITCHELL 7
Mitchell 000 061 0 – 7 10 2
Brookings 001 015 1 – 8 5 2
Evan Demaranville and Nick Lord; Max Struck, Mason Bebensee (5), Cole Mahlum (6) and Cole Mahlum, Wes Koenig (6). W – Mahlum. L – Demaranville. 2B: B, Mason Bebensee, Jamison Honkomp, Maxwell Kjelden. 3B: M, Nick Lord, Jacob Schumacher.