Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Prairie's Velvick broke collarbone in fatal crash

Cedar Rapids Prairie baseball player Jason Velvick broke his collarbone in a one-vehicle crash that killed the driver early Thursday morning, sources have told the Metro Sports Report.

Velvick was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed near the south side of the Eastern Iowa Airport.

Drake Whitters, 19, of Swisher died in the accident. He was the driver of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Whitters graduated from Prairie High School in 2010 and played football for the Hawks.

Prairie baseball coach Matt Thede declined comment on how Velvick got hurt, but did confirm the injury. "He has a broken collarbone," Thede said.

Thede said Velvick will miss the rest of the baseball season. Velvick, a senior-to-be, was Prairie's starting centerfielder and was hitting .317 in 12 games.

Sources said Velvick suffered lacerations to various parts of his body, including his back, side and stomach.

Velvick ran to a farmhouse for help after the accident, according to sources, and later ran approximately three miles to his home. He was not able to retrieve his cell phone and call for help, because the phone was in the crashed vehicle and not accessible.


Christensen is Gatorade Player of the Year

Kennedy's power-hitting southpaw pitcher Austin Christensen has been named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year in baseball.

Christensen is batting .684 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs through 13 games. He also  is 3-0 on the mound.

Christensen is Kennedy's career home run leader with 33. His 24 wins as a pitcher are two shy of the Kennedy career record held by Danny Bales.

Christensen is the fourth Metro athlete to be named a Gatorade Player of the Year this year and the second from Kennedy. Linn-Mar's Kiah Stokes was a two-time winner in girls basketball, Jefferson's Jarrod Uthoff was chosen in boys basketball and Kennedy junior Gabe Christianson was named in boys soccer.

Christensen has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Nebraska. He was not chosen in the recent Major League Baseball first-year player draft.


J-Hawks' bats disappear; Naber returns

Katie Naber got back just in time for the Jefferson bats to disappear.

But Naber, a third-year senior pitcher, got all the support she needed with a little bit of J-Hawk base running trickery and Class 4A No. 9 Jefferson beat Davenport Assumption, 1-0, Saturday night in the finale of the Bill Hennnesy Classic at Jefferson.

Earlier in the day, the J-Hawks were beaten by Class 2A top-ranked Bondurant-Farrar, 3-2.

Naber was eligible to play Friday but did not get into the game against Southeast Polk that was eventually rained out. Instead, she made her season debut in the circle Saturday night against Assumption and looked like she hadn’t missed a beat.


Freese tosses 2-hitter against Lions with 13 Ks

Dakota Freese looked like Dakota Freese again Friday night.

That's good news for Freese and Cedar Rapids Washington, especially since he plans to pitch for the Warriors all season before talking to the Chicago White Sox about a pro contract.

Freese struck out 13 batters and tossed a two-hitter as the Warriors clipped Linn-Mar, 6-2, in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Washington.

The second game was suspended in the top of the second inning due to weather with Linn-Mar leading, 5-0, and will be finished Wednesday at 5 p.m.



No.1 Cougars swept by No.8 Fort Dodge

FORT DODGE - The top-ranked Kennedy High School baseball team was knocked off its perch Saturday by eighth-ranked Fort Dodge.

The Dodgers swept the Cougars, 9-3 and 8-3, in a non-conference doubleheader with an impressive display of pitching, power and defense at Ed McNeil Field.

Fort Dodge (6-4) belted six home runs in the twinbill, including five homers over the ivy-covered brick walls in the first game.

Austin Christensen went 3-for-7 in the doubleheader for Kennedy (11-4) and saw his batting average drop from .684 to .644. He had two singles in his first two at-bats, giving him nine straight hits over the course of four games, but went 1-for-5 the rest of the day with three straight strikeouts.

David Yancey went 2-for-3 for Kennedy in the opener and hit a solo home run. Griffin Michael was 2-for-2 for the Cougars in the nightcap with two RBIs. Devon Jacobus and Matt Maiers also had two hits in the second game for Kennedy.

Alex Hayden started the first game for Kennedy and was tagged for eight runs and four homers in 4 1/3 innings. Cody Bell started the second game and lasted just seven batters, allowing four hits and a hit-batsman in his brief appearance.


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