Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Williamsburg takes twinbill from Norway

The Williamsburg Red Sox swept an Iowa Valley League doubleheader from the Norway Bandits Sunday in Norway to square their record at 4-4.

Elsewhere, the Walford Hogs upended Red Top in the second game of their doubleheader in Walford on a one-hitter by Diogenes Ceballos to hand Red Top its first loss of the campaign after seven straight wins.


In what league officials called an "historic event," the Williamsburg Red Sox swept Norway on the road just three weeks after sweeping Watkins on the road for four victories against traditional IVL powers.

Williamsburg and Norway were tied, 2-2, heading into the top of the ninth inning in the opener. Garrett Saunders and Nolan Arp collected back-to-back doubles for Williamsburg in the ninth and Travis Bowman retired the side in the bottom of the ninth for the 3-2 victory.


Bell fell in love with baseball again

WATKINS - Cody Bell was a member of the golf team at the University of Northern Iowa for two years, but he missed playing baseball so much that he transferred to Mount Mercy University two years ago and resumed his career on the diamond.

It turned out to be a great move.

Bell enjoyed a sensational season for Mount Mercy this season and he starred again on the mound Sunday for Fairfax in the first game of their Iowa Valley League doubleheader against Watkins.

Bell tossed a complete game and allowed only two earned runs as Fairfax topped the Mudhens, 7-3, on a warm day at Watkins. He allowed seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Watkins captured the second game, 8-2, for its first victory of the season.

Bell compiled an 8-2 record and 1.65 at Mount Mercy this year and was named first team all-conference. He also hit .298 with 18 RBIs for the Mustangs, who finished with a 34-14 record.

Bell, 22, was a multi-sport athlete at Cedar Rapids Kennedy in golf, basketball and baseball, but he wanted to try golf in college and enrolled at Northern Iowa four years ago, leaving baseball behind. His golf career never fully blossomed in college and as time went by he realized he sorely missed playing ball.

Bell decided to transfer to Mount Mercy, where he rejoined several of his former Kennedy teammates like Jimmy Lizarraga, Alex Hayden and Adam Lloyd.


Hines helps Saints get 1st MVC victory

New Xavier baseball coach Bob Cataldo had never seen Jacob Hines pitch before this season, but he remembered Hines from middle school and decided to put him on the varsity this year as a sophomore.

Smart move.

Hines tossed a complete game Friday night as the Saints trimmed Linn-Mar, 4-2, in the second game of their doubleheader at the Linn-Mar field for their first Mississippi Valley Conference win of the season.

Hines allowed only three hits and kept the ball around the plate all night.

"I used to coach Regis eighth grade basketball and Jacob was one of the kids I coached in eighth grade," Cataldo said. "I knew what kind of competitor he is."

The Saints had dropped 11 straight conference games this season, including a 6-3 loss to Linn-Mar in the first game Friday, but they've showed a lot of improvement the last three weeks and finally got their reward.


Shepherd: 'Safe to assume' personnel changes

The superintendent of the Linn-Mar school district said Thursday there could be personnel changes at Linn-Mar High School as a result of the ongoing state investigation into the school's football program.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BoEE) is currently investigating charges that Linn-Mar families have filed against assistant football coach Matt Casebolt, head coach Bob Forsyth, retiring athletic director Scott Mahmens and principal Jeff Gustason.

"I think it would be safe to assume that we could expect some personnel changes moving forward next year," Dr. Quintin Shepherd, the Linn-Mar superintendent, told the Metro Sports Report Thursday morning.

Shepherd declined to specify what the personnel changes might be, citing due process and privacy rights of employees, but said the school district is making contingency plans to replace personnel if and when the time comes.

"We are in the process of doing what we need to do as a district to try and forestall any detrimental impact on the program in the middle of the season," he remarked. "We're always trying to put ourselves in position in the district where we don't react to something that an outside entity might do to us, but that we're responding to it in a way that's pro-active.

"If we can position our program now, whatever the BoEE does hopefully won't impact our program or our kids, and that's what we're trying to do now."

Shepherd said he does not know when the BoEE will finish its investigation or what action the state board will take. "I have no sense at all of when it will be completed," he said.


Yegge's Prairie Hawks sweep Saints

Cedar Rapids Prairie softball coach Joe Yegge saw a lot of familiar faces in the Xavier dugout Wednesday night during their doubleheader at Xavier.

Yegge is also the highly successful coach at Kirkwood Community College, and he sees former players and former assistants at a variety of stops during the high school season.

Xavier head coach Nikki Gahring used to work for Yegge at Kirkwood, Xavier assistant coach Kristen Winter played for Yegge at Kirkwood and is now one of his assistants during the college softball season, and new Xavier assistant coach Maddie Hansen was an All-American catcher for the Eagles this past season when they finished fifth in the country.

"Nikki was my right-hand man for three years, Kristen was basically my right-hand man this year going into the national tournament and Maddie had a great year for us," Yegge said. "It is kind of neat.

"It's pretty cool to see that those guys are out there doing it. It must say we're doing something right and they love it."

Yegge got the upper hand on his friends at Xavier Wednesday as the Hawks swept the Saints, 12-0 in four innings and 5-3 in the Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill.


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