Wednesday, July 29, 2015
WEDNESDAY'S SCOREBOARD - MIDWEST LEAGUE: Clinton 11, Kernels 4 ... PREP BASEBALL: CLASS 4A QUARTERFINAL: Kennedy 3, Davenport North 2 ...
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lizarraga sparkles as Cougars win for Herk

DES MOINES - A traumatic few days for the Cedar Rapids Kennedy baseball team ended with a magnificent performance by Sammy Lizarraga at the Class 4A state tournament Wednesday night.

Lizarraga sizzled on the mound with 14 strikeouts and the Cougars made a heart-felt tribute to Bill "Herk" Herkelman with a tense 3-2 victory over Davenport North at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Kennedy (30-11) will face Iowa City West (33-11) in the semifinals Friday night at 7:30.

The emotional week for the Cougars began last Wednesday night with an 18-1 victory over Cedar Falls in the substate finals. Two days later, they learned the horrible news that Herkelman - their beloved 77-year-old assistant coach - had died after suffering a stroke.

All the Cougars attended Herkelman's funeral service on Tuesday, then got on the bus Wednesday and traveled to Des Moines for the state tournament.

"The last week has been like a roller-coaster," said Lizarraga. "It's been an emotional week for all of us. We're on a high right now and we plan on keeping it that way."

Lizarraga tossed a three-hitter with a blazing fastball and sharp breaking ball. He just missed matching the all-time record of 15 strikeouts in a state tournament game, shared by six pitchers.


LumberKings blast Kernels, 11-4

CLINTON - After a string of quality starts, Cedar Rapids' Felix Jorge couldn't find his best stuff on Wednesday night.

The Kernels ace was roughed up for seven runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work as Clinton rolled to an 11-4 win before 930 fans at Ashford University Field.

Austin Cousino was the hitting star for the LumberKings, rapping out a double and a triple. Brock Hebert made his Clinton debut with a pair of doubles. Gianfranco Wawoe had three hits and three RBIs.

The Kernels (60-43) kept it close early, trailing just 5-3 after three innings. Catcher Brian Navarreto had a two-run single in the second and Zach Larson drove home a run with a third-inning double.

Jorge (5-4) did strike out seven and walked two.


Cougars carry Herk's No. 29 to state

The Kennedy Cougars bid their final farewell to Bill Herkelman on Tuesday at the funeral service for their beloved assistant coach, but they'll carry Herk's jersey No. 29 with them onto the field at the Class 4A state baseball tournament Wednesday at Principal Park in Des Moines.

All of the Kennedy players have new practice T-shirts for the state tournament and all the shirts have Herkelman's No. 29 on the back in big numbers. So when the Cougars take the field for pre-game drills Wednesday, there will be several dozen No. 29's all over the place.


Larson lifts Kernels by Clinton

CLINTON - Zack Larson drove in Tanner English with a clutch double in the 10th inning Tuesday night as the Cedar Rapids Kernels trimmed Clinton, 4-3, before 760 fans at Ashford University Field.

English was hit by a pitch to begin the winning rally.

Randy LeBlanc (7-3) picked up the victory in relief for the Kernels. Cam Booser struck out two batters in the 10th inning for his 10th save. Kernels starter Keaton Steele pitched 4.2 shutout innings.

The Kernels built a 3-0 lead after four innings on RBIs by Nick Gordon, Brian Navarreto and Pat Kelly. Clinton rallied for a single run in the seventh inning and two runs in the eighth to force extra innings.

Rafael Valera had two hits for Cedar Rapids.

The Kernels (60-42) and Clinton (32-69) meet again at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.


Drake makes U.S. Trials in 100 fly

Kelsey Drake has reached another major milestone in her remarkable swimming career.

Drake turned in an impressive performance at the Iowa state swimming long course championships in Iowa City Saturday and has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 meter butterfly.

Drake was timed in 1:01.17 in the preliminaries of the 100-meter butterfly Saturday morning to meet the qualifying time for the U.S. Trials of 1:01.19, making the standard by 2-hundredths of a second. She placed second in the finals of the 100 fly Saturday night.

The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held in Omaha next June in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, next August.

Drake, entering her junior year at Linn-Mar High School, is one of the youngest swimmers to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

"It's an amazing accomplishment," said Brian Ruffles, her coach with the Linn-Mar Swim Club. "It's something that she's wanted ever since she was 12 years old. It's a huge accomplishment in her career."


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Metro Schedule

Sunday, July 26 Thursday, July 30
MWL: Kernels 5, Beloit 4 MWL: Kernels at Clinton, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, July 27 Friday, July 31
No events scheduled MWL: Kernels at Kane County, 6:30 p.m.

BB: Class 4A State Semifinal at Des Moines: Kennedy vs. Iowa City West, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 28
MWL: Kernels 4, Clinton 3 Saturday, Aug. 1

MWL: Kernels at Kane County, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 29 BB: State baseball tournament, TBD
MWL: Clinton 11, Kernels 4
BB: Class 4A State Quarterfinal at Des Moines: Kennedy 3, Davenport North 2 Sunday, Aug. 2

MWL: Kernels at Kane County, 1 p.m.


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