TRINITY — Going into the bottom of the third inning down 7-0 in their Class 4A region quarterfinal matchup Tuesday night with Land O’Lakes, the mood in Mitchell’s dugout was quiet and void of energy.
Four and a half innings later the jolt of excitement that emerged from the Mustangs dugout seemed almost unbelievable, when sophomore Eddie Goscicki knocked in the go-ahead runs of Conner Hale and Kevin Games in the bottom of the seventh.
Mitchell erased a seven-run deficit in the seventh inning and came away with a thrilling 11-10 victory over the Gators.
“All I know is I wanted to put the ball in play,” Goscicki said. “I wouldn’t accept not putting the ball in play. I just wanted to get a hit and put it right back up the middle.
“The energy in the dugout in the last inning was ridiculous. It’s one-of-a-kind energy. The energy is going to bring us far.”
Land O’Lakes (19-8) got off to a hot start against Games and notched five hits and seven runs off the senior in the first three innings.
The Mustangs (23-6) answered back in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half, scoring four runs off Land O’Lakes starter Brad Hencke. He left after the third inning and Mitchell continued to close the gap, making it 10-7 going into the bottom of the seventh.
Hale and Games reached on an error and single, respectively, then Goscicki hit the winner off relief pitcher Trey Mcnickle.
“Our kids have hung in there all year,” Mitchell coach Scot Wilcox said. “We got down in the middle of the year, but we’re peaking now and our guys have all the confidence in the world, and that’s the result right there.”