Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Saints split, lose shot at No.1 seed

The Xavier Saints needed to sweep Dubuque Hempstead Wednesday night to keep their hopes alive of claiming the No.1 seed for the Class 4A substate tournament next month.

Brad Duwe and the Mustangs had other ideas.

Duwe pitched a four-hitter and drove in two key runs as Hempstead spanked Xavier, 5-1, in the second game of their Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill at Ken Charipar Field.

The Saints won the first game, 7-3, but the split means they'll have to settle for the No.2 seed in the substate tournament that begins on July 15.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy clinched the No.1 seed by splitting its doubleheader at Iowa City High Wednesday night. The Cougars have reached the cutoff for determining seeds with a 23-7 record and the Saints (20-7) cannot catch them by Saturday's deadline.

The No.1 seed is important because it could lead to a second-round bye in the substate tournament, but Xavier Coach Dave Schemmel had other concerns Wednesday night.

The Saints had runners at second and third with nobody out in the fourth inning of the nightcap, but their number 4-5-6 hitters failed to produce a run against Duwe with Hempstead clinging to a 1-0 lead. The Saints didn't get a clutch hit all game.

"You've got to get runs on this pitcher," Schemmel said. "He's a good pitcher. He's a competitor, and he throws strikes and he makes you work for everything.

"We had opportunities, but that stat you see in the Major League linescore - hits with runners in scoring position - we didn't have any tonight in the second game. And you can't win games like that."


The great summer debate

The state of Iowa offers summer baseball and softball.

The other 49 states offer these sports during the spring, or at other times during the calendar year.

Who is right?

This debate has raged for many, many years around the state of Iowa. For some time, athletes did have a choice. The state offered both baseball and softball in the spring and summer, for those kids who could only play one season or elected to play both. Now it's a choice and many times a tough choice.

Baseball and softball are the top two sports in high school athletics that have their participation numbers influenced most by outside factors. Many skilled players have quit playing because these sports are played in the summer months. The season conflicts with both individual and team camps of other sports, jobs and, most notably, a kid's free time during the warm weather when there is no schoolwork to interrupt them.


Bell helps Kennedy clinch No.1 seed

IOWA CITY - Cedar Rapids Kennedy junior Cody Bell acknowledges that he sometimes has a problem with stepping in the bucket when he's at the plate.

In the second game of a doubleheader against Iowa City High on Wednesday night, Bell put that problem to rest.

Belting a home run and two doubles, Bell collected six RBIs and helped No.5 Kennedy take care of City High in five innings, 13-0, at Mercer Park.

City High won the opener, 6-5.

These games had substate implications. By gaining a split, Kennedy (23-7, 16-4) clinched the No.1 seed in Substate 3 when Xavier split its doubleheader with Dubuque Hempstead Wednesday.



Blaha tosses no-hitter as Prairie nips Marion

Mackenzie Blaha pitched a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts Wednesday night as Cedar Rapids Prairie nipped Marion, 1-0, in a non-conference softball game at Prairie.

Blaha had a perfect game through five innings. She walked a batter in the sixth inning and hit a batter in the seventh.

Taylor Stecklein drove in Shelby Crist with an RBI single in the third inning for the only run. Stecklein had two hits for the Hawks (12-19).

Mikayla Goemaat pitched a four-hitter for Marion (14-17) with one walk and two strikeouts.

Scott, rf, 3 0 0 0, Smith, cf, 3 0 0 0, Knapp, 1b, 3 0 0 0, Mohr, ss, 2 0 0 0, Perkins, cf, 3 0 0 0, Rausch, 3b, 2 0 0 0, Nathem, lf, 1 0 0 0, Goemaat, p, 2 0 0 0, Banes, 2b, 2 0 0 0. Totals 21 0 0 0.

Crist, c, 3 1 1 0, T. Stecklein, 2b, 3 0 2 1, Wieland, ss, 3 0 0 0, Blaha, p, 2 0 0 0, O'Brian, dp, 2 0 0 0, Carver, cf, 2 0 0 0, Lash, rf, 2 0 0 0, Frederick, 1b, 2 0 1 0, A. Stecklein, 3b, 2 0 0 0, C. Lueck, lf, 0 0 0 0. Totals 21 1 4 1.

Marion     000 000 0 - 0 0 1
Prairie    001 000 x - 1 4 0

Goemaat and Perkins. Blaha and Crist. W - Blaha. L - Goemaat.


Marion's Fish notches his 500th victory

Over the past 23 years as a high school baseball coach, Marion’s Steve Fish has had plenty of wins that were more polished than the one Tuesday night over Cascade.

Yet few have been as sweet.

With an 11-1 six-inning comeback that was really tighter than the score might indicate, the injury-depleted but scrappy Indians found a way to hand their beloved coach his 500th career victory.

Fish, 50, now joins an elite list of just 53 other Iowa coaches to reach that milestone.

“It’s an honor to be in that group,” he said. “But, in reality, what it means is that I’ve had a lot of assistant coaches who are just as passionate about the game as I am.

“And I’ve had a lot of good players who have been passionate about baseball.”


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