Austin Mitchell has been a force on the mound for Legion Post 255 all season long, and on Thursday night the right-handed pitcher didn’t disappoint.
“Mitchell has been our number one all season long,” Legion head coach Tyler Kimmey said. “He’s our go-to guy. He doesn’t let us down and is pretty consistent.”
Mitchell pitched a nine-inning complete game to help Legion secure an 11-4 victory over St. Mary’s in a Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League contest at Chancellor’s Run Regional Park in Great Mills. The contest was a makeup from a July 13 postponement.
“My change-up was working really well and keeping them off-balance,” Mitchell said. “[St. Mary’s batters] were hitting my fastball well, so I was just throwing a lot of change-ups there at the end.”
Legion was able to race out to an early lead on a two-run home run from Bowen Plagge in the top of the first inning.
“The team looked really good,” Plagge said. “Austin Mitchell threw a heck of a game right there going a complete nine innings and throwing strikes left and right. As a team, we had timely hitting getting balls into the gaps and to the fence as well as some clutch home runs.”
Plagge, a member of St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s baseball team, recently joined the Legion after two months of playing summer baseball in New York.
“I play at St. Mary’s College with Jay Hammett. I went to play baseball in New York all summer and I was gone for two months,” Plagge said. “I finally got back last week. I had a great time with a lot of talented baseball players, and it was just an honor and a privilege to be able to play baseball with them.”
St. Mary’s was able to fight back and tie the game at 2 after a homer from Chris D’Antuono in the bottom of the second cut the deficit in half and Jared Eaker scored on a wild pitch from Mitchell in the bottom of the fourth.
“We looked good and battled back,” Mitchell said. “We knew they were going to hit home runs on this small field because they have good hitters, but we battled back and brought the bats alive late. It was what we needed and a good battle.”
Both teams continued to battle back and forth for the lead, then, in the top of the fifth inning, Jordon Burch hit a two-RBI single which put Legion back in front 4-2.
Legion’s lead was short-lived however, because in the bottom half of the fifth, Brad Sullivan hit a two-run homer for St. Mary’s to knot the score back up at 4.
Plagge was able to grant Legion a lead it wouldn’t relinquish with an RBI single to start a four-run sixth for the club.
“Coming back here is great to play in my hometown,” Plagge said. “I’m excited for the playoffs coming up, too.”
Hammett hit a three-run homer after Plagge’s RBI single in the frame and Legion added its final three runs in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
“We did pretty good. We had a couple of errors and misplays in the outfield, but overall everybody hit through the lineup and we were able to stay in command for most of the game,” Kimmey said. “[St. Mary’s] starting pitcher [Sullivan] ran out of gas I think and then they put another guy [Jason Bean] in and we were able to take advantage of the switch.”
Plagge led Legion with four hits and four RBIs, while Hammett finished with two hits and three RBIs. Mitchell finished with eight strikeouts on the mound in the nine inning complete game on just 67 pitches.
Eaker led St. Mary’s with three hits and Sullivan led the team with two RBIs.
The Door (19-3), who have already clinched the league’s regular season title with two weekends left, is scheduled to play Indian Head at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Indian Head is tied with Western Charles for third in the league standings at 14-8.
Legion (second place, 15-7 after losing a doubleheader to Western Charles on Saturday) is next slated to play the Hyper Bombers at 4 p.m. Sunday at Rainbow Construction field in La Plata.