Blake Mitchell is the ace of Sinton’s pitching staff, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to feeling nervous on the big stage.

The future LSU Tiger was a bit shaky in the early going of his team’s state semifinal win over Celina, but the Pirate offense provided calm for Mitchell in the form of a six-spot as the Pirates rolled past the Bobcats 9-0 in the 4A state semifinals at Disch-Falk Field on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin June 8.

Mitchell went deep into counts in the first inning and put two runners on, but Sinton got out of the jam when Mitchell picked off Celina’s R.J. Ruais – his counterpart on the bump – to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the first, Sinton’s offense forced Ruais, who entered the game with an 11-0 record for the year, out after just six batters.

The Pirates tagged him for six runs in the inning and never looked back.

Rylan Galvan, Canon Chester and Kaden McCoy each hit RBI singles in the inning. Rene Galvan and Marco Gonzales each picked up RBIs thanks to bases-loaded walks.

Mitchell was nearly untouchable after that. He allowed a bunt single to start the second, but then retired the next 12 batters in a row.

He gave up a single and then a walk to start the sixth, but got out of the jam unscathed after picking off Ruais again and then striking out the batter at the plate on the next pitch.

He finished off the game with a perfect seventh to get the win and go to 7-0.

“It’s a bigger stage, so I mean I guess you could say that the nerves set in a little bit,” Mitchell said about his performance. “But, once I was out there long enough, it was just like another game to me.”

His offense spotting him six runs helped, Mitchell admitted.

“That helps a lot. I had a lot more confidence going out there in the second inning after (the offense put) six runs on the board.”

It was Mitchell’s first complete game on the bump since the team’s 2-1 extra-innings win over Calallen in last season’s Region IV championship game.

He scattered three hits, struck out seven and walked one in a 94-pitch performance.

Chester led Sinton’s offense, going 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run. Rylan Galvan went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Gonzales finished 1 for 2 with an RBI and two runs.

Mitchell helped his own cause by going 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

Braeden Brown also had two hits and scored a run.

•kkeller@mysoutex.com•

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Kevin J. Keller is the content director for Coastal Bend Publishing and the editor of the Beeville Bee-Picayune. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.