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Thursday, July 28, 2016
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Metro Sports Report

Red Top wins 6th IVL title in row

SOLON - It's a dynasty, plain and simple.

Red Top captured its sixth Iowa Valley League title in a row Sunday when it blanked Walford, 6-0 and 1-0, in a doubleheader at the Solon High School field.

They began playing baseball in the Iowa Valley League in 1935, and in all that time nobody had ever won six straight titles before. Teams had won five straight crowns, but never six.

Red Top has it all: Good players, good leadership, good coaching and a solid organization.

"We always have good talent," said Ben Rettenmeier, who tossed a five-hit shutout in the opener, "but I think it's the leadership. We've got coaches playing, we've got guys from big schools that have stepped up in big spots.

"We have a connection from playing together so long," he said. "We mesh well and have a good time together."

Red Top raised its record to 12-2, giving it an insurmountable lead in the standings with just one week left in the regular season.

"We've got a really good core," said Red Top Manager Adam Sadler, who has been a player and coach for the top team for 20 years. "We've had that group of core guys that's been here 6-7-8 years. We've kept that group together this whole time.

"We've kept that core together and filled in with younger guys, getting that young blood in there too. That core group of guys kind of teaches them and shows them how we do it."

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Corson tosses 1-hitter for Norway

Brady Corson pitched a one-hitter with nine strikeouts Sunday as the Norway Bandits blanked Williamsburg, 11-0, in the first game of an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at Williamsburg.

The Red Sox rebounded with a 3-2 victory in the second game.

Elsewhere Sunday, Cody Bell starred with his arm and bat as Fairfax split a twinbill with Watkins.

NORWAY 11-2, WILLIAMSBURG 0-3

WILLIAMSBURG - Corson was razor-sharp for Norway in the 11-0 victory in the first game.

Ron Benich belted a three-run homer for the Bandits in the opener and Zach Patterson collected a three-run double. Travis Mueller and Oswaldo Calderon also had RBI base hits for Norway.

The second game was tied, 2-2, heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Cam Frazier led off for Williamsburg with a single and Ryan Arp was hit by a pitch. Joe Anton bunted the runners to second and third, then A.J. Liddell got the go-ahead base hit.

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Kirkwood spending $750,000 on ballfields

Kirkwood Community College is spending approximately $750,000 to improve its baseball and softball fields on campus.

The project began this spring and both fields will get new padded fences, improved drainage systems, new netting behind home plate and possibly new scoreboards.

"When those two fields are done, I'll be surprised if there's any junior college - and I haven't seen them all - but I'll be surprised if any junior college rivals it in the state," said Doug Wagemester, the athletic director at Kirkwood.

The softball project is expected to be finished by late August, in time for the players returning to school and the start of fall drills.

The baseball project will take a little longer but will be ready for next season. All of the sod has been stripped off the field and the entire surface will be re-seeded, forcing the Eagles to practice at other on-campus sites and Prairie High School this fall.

Wagemester said it was time to address several issues at both fields, which sit next to each other on campus. He said "safety and playability" for the driving forces behind the combined project.

"It was just time," he said. "For 25 years, it's been band-aids. It's always been a little bit of this, a little bit of that. One thing kind of stacked on the next thing and on the next thing."

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Daniels, 14, shows her stuff in GTL

NORTH LIBERTY - Caitlynn Daniels is only 14 years old, but she's already playing basketball against college girls in the Game Time League and loving every minute of it.

Daniels will be a freshman at Xavier this year and it's probably a good idea to remember her name. She's already received a recruiting letter from Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder and many more are sure to follow.

Daniels made her debut in the Game Time League Wednesday night in a game that featured three Iowa Hawkeyes at the North Liberty Recreation Center. If you didn't know Daniels just graduated from Regis Middle School last month, you would have guessed she was much older and perhaps a college kid herself.

"I thought she held her own," said Maggie O'Connell, an assistant coach at Xavier who is also her head coach in the Game Time League. "Obviously her conditioning helped her in that respect. She hardly turned the ball over and played pretty solid defense. Good for her."

Daniels, who is a natural point guard with excellent ballhandling skills, played most of the game at a wing position, but O'Connell moved her to the point in the fourth quarter and Daniels showed what she could do with her passing and leadership.

"I was a little nervous at first, but once the game got going it wasn't that scary," she said.

Daniels took only two shots and missed them both, but she collected two assists and two rebounds and made an important contribution as her McCurry's/Vinton Merchants nipped L.L. Pelling, 86-85, on a 3-pointer by Iowa's Alexis Sevillian at the buzzer.

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Saints roll into 3A baseball playoffs

The Xavier Saints should be a confident baseball team when they enter the Class 3A district tournament Friday night.

The Saints ended the regular season on another high note Monday with a 7-3 victory over Clinton in a non-conference game at Ken Charipar Field.

The Saints have won nine of their last 11 games after a rugged start, but they'll need all the confidence they can muster in the 3A playoffs.

Xavier (12-22-1) will face DeWitt Central (28-10) in the district opener Friday at approximately 7 p.m. in DeWitt, and waiting in the wings in the district finals is top-ranked Davenport Assumption.

If the Saints handle all that, they could face another tough opponent in the substate finals for a trip to the state tournament.

Xavier collected a methodical victory over Clinton Monday with a 12-hit attack and solid pitching from Adam Tvedt and Sam Meyers. Tvedt struck out eight batters and allowed three runs in five innings for the victory, then Meyers tossed two scoreless frames to finish the game.

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