With his selection Wednesday as the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division III Pitcher of the Week, Surry Community College freshman Aaron Mitchell became the third Knight to win the honor since the start of the 2017 season.
A freshman from Charlotte Catholic High School, Mitchell threw a total of 10.2 shutout innings in games against Paul D. Camp CC and Montgomery CC. He struck out 15 and walked none during the dominant stretch. The 6-1 right-hander highlighted the big week Saturday by striking out nine in a two-hit shutout against Paul D. Camp. Three days earlier, Mitchell fanned six batters in 3.2 innings of no-hit relief against Montgomery.
“The game against Paul D. Camp we won 20-0, but they are a much better team than that because the next game we beat them 1-0. We hit the ball extremely well and Aaron dominated them on the mound,” Surry head coach Tim Collins said. “Aaron is one of the hardest workers we have. He has a lot of confidence in his ability and he is very well-mannered, a very polite kid. He just goes out and does his job. The main thing about Aaron is he commands the strike zone.”
Surry (8-7) has played an extremely difficult non-conference schedule to open the season, but Mitchell has recorded a 3-0 mark as a freshman. He has struck out 25 batters while only walking four in compiling a miniscule 1.30 ERA.
“Two of our top pitchers have been injured and Aaron has over-exceeded expectations with him having to step up because of injuries. He has been dominant for us,” Collins said. “He also knows it is going to come with work and he works extremely hard. He does very well in the classroom and he’s the kind of young man that brings a lot of prestige and honor to our school because he does things the right way.”
Mitchell joins Surry sophomore Tyler Lundy and 2017 graduate Matthew Lambert, who both also earned NJCAA Division III Pitcher of the Week honors a year ago.
“It’s cool to keep that tradition going. I just hope some other guys on the pitching staff keep it going and get Surry’s name out there,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t really know what to say (about the honor). I just knew my hard work paid off and commanding the strike zone really helped and getting ahead of the count of the batters really helped.”