Tyler Harris took Mitchell’s best shots early – then delivered a knockout performance of his own.
Harris retired 17 straight batters at one point, firing a complete-game five-hitter to lead Polk County to a 9-4 victory Friday in a Western Highlands Conference baseball clash at Polk.
Mitchell (1-1, 1-1) greeted Harris in the top of the first with three straight base hits, good for a 2-0 lead. The Mountaineers then took advantage of a Polk error and added a third run before Braeden Keller struck out to end the first.
The Mountaineers wouldn’t have another base runner until Jeremy Sparks singled with one out in the seventh inning, ending Harris’ run of 17 straight outs. Keller followed with a triple, but that would be all the scoring for Mitchell.
Harris finished with 10 strikeouts and two walks in his 106-pitch effort.
Polk County (4-1, 3-0) quickly erased Mitchell’s 3-0 lead with four runs in the bottom of the first. Evan Rimer reached on an error before Holden Owens drilled a triple to right-center. Kaleb Kropp then singled to drive in Owens and make it 3-2.
Harris followed with a single before a throwing error on Austin Geagley’s grounder allowed Kropp and courtesy runner Wilson Edwards to score and give Polk a 4-3 lead.
The Wolverines added one run in the third on Nick Capozzi’s RBI double, then padded the lead with two runs in the fourth for a 7-3 advantage. Elijah Sutton’s triple started the rally, with Sutton scoring on a Rimer bunt single. Rimer then stole second, moved to third on an error and scored on an Owens’ sacrifice fly.
Owens capped Polk’s scoring in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run triple, driving home Sutton and Rimer, who had each singled to open the inning.
Owens finished 3-for-3 with four RBI to lead Polk, with Sutton, Rimer and Harris each adding two hits. Capozzi, Kropp and Grayson Jones each had hits as the Wolverines finished with 12 in the game, including a double and three triples.
Polk County concludes a four-game homestand on Tuesday, hosting Mountain Heritage in another WHC meeting.