Friday, July 31, 2015
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Johnson wins British Open in playoff

Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson made a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole, then outlasted two golfers to win a four-hole playoff Monday at the 144th British Open at St. Andrews.

The win was Johnson's 12th PGA Tour title, including two major championships. He won the 2007 Masters.

"I want to thank all my family and friends back home," Johnson told the crowd as he accepted the Claret Jug. "I'm honored to be your champion. Thank you very much."


J-Hawks cherish win over Lions at state

FORT DODGE - Alyssa Olson has pitched better games during her all-state career with the Jefferson J-Hawks, but few have felt as sweet as this one did Monday afternoon.

Olson tossed a complete game as the third-ranked J-Hawks topped Linn-Mar, 6-3, in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge.

Olson and the J-Hawks lost in the opening round of the state tournament in 2013 and 2014, so this was the last chance for Olson and the rest of the Jefferson seniors to reach the semifinals.

"It feels great," she said. "We knew coming into this game that it wasn't going to be easy, by any means. We knew that Linn-Mar was going to put up a fight and we were going to put up a fight."

Olson has enjoyed lots of big wins, including a 7-0 masterpiece with 13 strikeouts against Muscatine in the regional finals two years ago as a sophomore. Monday's victory was really big, too.


Jorge is quality hurler for Kernels

There are no sure things in baseball, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels getting a quality start from Felix Jorge comes pretty close.

The 21-year-old Dominican held the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to two runs in seven innings Tuesday night, leading the Kernels to a 6-2 victory before 2,236 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Jorge has pitched at least six innings while holding opponents to three runs or less (the definition of a quality start) in each of his last 14 starts and 15 out of 16 times this season.

Asked if he knew how many consecutive quality starts he has, the young righthander knew exactly the right answer. “Fourteen,” he replied with a slight smile.

“He’s pretty smart,” Kernels Manager Jake Mauer said. “He looked a lot different than he did April a year ago, didn’t he? Very impressive.


Hildenberger promoted to Fort Myers

Cedar Rapids Kernels relief pitcher Trevor Hildenberger has been promoted to the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League, Kernels Manager Jake Mauer said Wednesday afternoon.

Hildenberger, 24, starred for the Kernels in their bullpen with a 2-1 record, 0.80 ERA and 14 saves. He struck out 59 batters and walked only five in 45 innings.

Fort Myers depleted its bullpen in a 2-1 victory in 16 innings Tuesday night and needed another pitcher. Mauer was notified after midnight Tuesday and called Hildenberger, who caught a 7 a.m. flight out of Cedar Rapids on Wednesday morning to join his new club.

Mauer does not know if Hildenberger will stay with Fort Myers, but said the 6-foot-2 right-hander deserved the promotion. Hildenberger led the Kernels in saves.

The Minnesota Twins selected Hildenberger in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft from Cal-Berkeley.



Nebraska Wesleyan joining IIAC

The Iowa Conference will expand to nine member institutions as league officials announced Monday that Nebraska Wesleyan University has accepted an invitation to join the conference beginning with the 2016-17 academic year.

The invitation was approved by Nebraska Wesleyan’s Board of Governors and accepted by IIAC presidents on July 13.

Nebraska Wesleyan is currently affiliated with both NCAA Division III and the NAIA – the only school in the country with dual affiliation. Currently a member of the NAIA’s Great Plains Athletic Conference, Nebraska Wesleyan will be an exclusive member of NCAA Division III effective July 1, 2016.

Monday's announcement marks the first addition to the Iowa Conference since Coe College and Cornell College joined in 1997 and the first change in the conference’s membership since Cornell returned to the Midwest Conference after the 2011-12 academic year. Nebraska Wesleyan will be the 20th institution to compete as a member of the 93-year old IIAC.


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Metro Schedule

Sunday, July 26 Thursday, July 30
MWL: Kernels 5, Beloit 4 MWL: Kernels 9, Clinton 5

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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