Lynx knock off Kernels with seventh-inning rally to sweep playoff series

May 18—BRANDON — With the Mitchell High School baseball team on the verge of forcing a decisive third game, Brandon Valley's bats delivered in the clutch.

Using four base hits in the seventh inning — half their total for the game — the No. 3 Lynx flipped a one-run deficit into a 4-3 victory over the 14th-seeded Kernels in Game 2 of a best-of-three Class A baseball playoff series on Saturday.

Brandon Valley (14-4) also won 3-1 in Game 1 on Friday night, taking the series 2-0 to advance to next weekend's state tournament in Sioux Falls.

Mitchell scratched across a first-inning run when Jaxson Hartman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Gavin Jones for the early 1-0 lead.

After the Lynx took the edge with two runs in the third, Blake Brosz struck back with a two-run home run in the fourth as the Kernels retook the lead. Conor Mattke, who had reached base on an error, also scored on the blast.

But a leadoff single in the seventh started Brandon Valley's rally, which was sustained by three more singles with one out. Chase Leary drove in the game-tying run and two batters later scored the go-ahead run, driven in by Bryton Stroh.

Eric Roberts took the mound in the seventh inning and retired the Kernels in order to clinch the Lynx's win. Stroh, who pitched the sixth inning in relief of starter Caleb Finn, was credited with the pitching win. Aiden Zerr had a three-hit day for the Lynx.

Parker Mandel pitched six innings in a start for the Kernels, striking out seven batters and yielding four hits, one walk and zero earned runs. Peyton Mandel was hit with the pitching loss after taking the mound in the seventh inning.

Mitchell's season came to an end with a 3-14 record.