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Sunday, August 28, 2016
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Metro Sports Report

Nearad named JUCO national player of year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Taylor Nearad of Kirkwood Community College has been named the inaugural Schutt Sports/NFCA Junior College National Player of the Year for all divisions, the Association announced on Wednesday afternoon.

The award was voted on by members of the NFCA’s Junior College All-American and Coaching Staff committees, which are comprised of NJCAA I, II & III, Cal JC and NWAC.

Near the top of every offensive category in NJCAA Division II this season, Nearad was named a first-team NFCA All-American and led the nation with 145 hits, 129 RBIs, 30 home runs and 114 runs scored.

She hit at a .602 clip, which was third-highest in the country, while her .622 on-base percentage ranked fourth. In addition to her long balls, she stroked 31 doubles and 11 triples, which contributed to the third-highest slugging percentage in NJCAA II (1.195). The speedy outfielder also displayed her talents on the base paths, swiping 34 bags.

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Meyers has some good stories to tell

Forty years from now, Sam Meyers will be able to tell his grand-kids about the night he battled the great Spencer VanScoyoc and was able to leave the ballpark with a smile.

Meyers nearly hit a home run against the Cedar Rapids Jefferson star Monday night for the Xavier Saints in the second game of their doubleheader, settling for a long double off the left-field fence at the Jefferson field that missed being a home run by only a few feet.

Later in the game, Meyers struck out VanScoyoc with a high fastball for a rare whiff of one of the top high school players in the country.

VanScoyoc later got revenge against Meyers with a two-run homer that may or may not have landed by now, but Meyers might conveniently forget to tell his grand-kids about that part of the evening.

"Yeah," he said, smiling. "We'll keep that a secret."

Meyers and the Xavier Saints did not get any victories against VanScoyoc and the sixth-ranked J-Hawks, but they continued to show improvement in their 5-2 and 9-5 setbacks in a Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill.

VanScoyoc, a star pitcher and hitter, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 19th round of the Major League draft last week and has a scholarship to Arizona State in his back pocket if he decides to attend college instead of turning pro.

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Fairfax, Norway sweep IVL doubleheaders

Fairfax and Norway swept their Iowa Valley League doubleheaders on Sunday, lifting their records to 4-2 after three weeks of the season.

Fairfax swept Williamsburg, 2-1 in eight innings and 5-0. Norway swept Walford, 6-1 and 4-2.

FAIRFAX 2-5, WILLIAMSBURG 1-0

FAIRFAX - Zach Daniels hit a single and scored the winning run on an RBI single by Cody Bell in the bottom of the eighth inning as Fairfax trimmed Williamsburg, 2-1, in the first game of their doubleheader.

Tyler Koningsmark pitched the first five innings for Fairfax, allowing one run on four hits. David Yancey tossed three scoreless innings in relief for the victory.

Fairfax took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the opener. Daniels had a base hit, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Lizarraga. Williamsburg tied the score, 1-1, in the fifth inning on a single by Garrett Saunders and an RBI double by Nolan Arp.

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Red Top's Howe is baseball lifer

SOLON - Tyler Howe simply cannot get enough baseball, despite two serious arm injuries that ended his professional career with the New York Mets organization four years ago.

Howe is the successful head coach at Northeast High School in Goose Lake during the week, then he stars for Red Top in the Iowa Valley League on Sundays.

"It's a busy summer," he acknowledged Sunday.

Howe belted a solo home run in the fourth inning to snap a scoreless tie and help Red Top blank Watkins, 3-0, in the second game of an IVL doubleheader at the Solon High School field.

Red Top won the first game, 5-2, and is undefeated this season at 6-0.

Howe, a catcher and first baseman, was on base all day with three walks, a hit-by-pitch and his towering home run to left-center field.

Howe, 30, looks forward to the games each week.

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Saints nearly topple No. 1 IC West

Step by step, inch by inch, the Xavier baseball team is getting much better.

The Saints proved it Friday night when they nearly upset top-ranked Iowa City West before falling, 5-4, in nine innings in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Ken Charipar Field.

Iowa City West rolled in the nightcap, 15-2, in five innings.

The Saints had the winning run at second base in the bottom of the seventh inning and again in the bottom of the eighth inning of the opener, but both opportunities slipped away and the Trojans prevailed in the ninth.

Xavier began the season with nine straight losses, but they won two games this week and pushed Iowa City West to the limit in the space of four days.

"I think we're right there," said junior Bryce Schulte, who has played six different positions for the Saints this season. "I think we've got a lot of momentum going. We're trying to find our groove a little bit with those two wins earlier in the week.

"That first game tonight, we were right there. I think we're kind of finding it right now."

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