Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Pairings set for IABA state tourney

Twelve teams will compete in the IABA state baseball tournament this weekend with games at Norway, Walford and Muscatine.

The tournament begins Saturday with games at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at each site. The tournament will continue on Sunday and will resume next weekend with all games at Walford.

Six teams will advance to the second weekend of the tournament. Three teams will have 2-0 records and three teams will advance with 2-1 records.

Red Top won the Iowa Valley League title and will face Calmar in the opening round Saturday at 2 p.m. at Walford. All six teams from the Iowa Valley League qualified for the state tournament.

Three teams from the Black Hawk league and three teams from the North League also made the tournament.


Van Scoyoc helps Norway sweep twinbill

NORWAY - If your last name is Van Scoyoc and you lived in Norway for part of your life, there's a really good chance the game of baseball flows smoothly in your blood.

Spencer Van Scoyoc is the latest example.

Van Scoyoc pulled on his father's old Norway Bandits jersey Sunday and starred on the same field where his grandfather won 12 state titles as the Hall of Fame coach at old Norway High School.

Van Scoyoc delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly as Norway trimmed Fairfax, 2-1, in eight innings in the first game of an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at the venerable ballpark.

Van Scoyoc then sparkled in relief and was the winning pitcher as the Bandits took the second game, 7-1, to complete the sweep.

Van Scoyoc lived in Norway until he was seven years old in a house that sits near the ballpark. His father, Aaron Van Scoyoc, starred at Norway High School and played in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees. His grandfather, Jim Van Scoyoc, won those 12 state titles and 796 games during his legendary coaching career at Norway and helps keep the field in tip-top shape with his keen eye for detail.

"My house was right on that corner over there," Spencer Van Scoyoc said after the doubleheader, pointing in a northwest direction from the field. "We'd always come out here when I was little and play around, and now to get a chance to play on this field is pretty awesome.


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."


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.


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.


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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