Friday, November 22, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Eight more Iowans chosen in MLB draft

Eight more Iowans were selected during the Major League Baseball first-year player draft Wednesday.  It was the third and final day of the draft and the final 20 rounds were held.

Cedar Rapids Washington right-hander Dakota Freese was chosen by the Chicago White Sox in the 34th round. He was the only current Metro athlete selected. Former Marion prep Matt Holland, an outfielder from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, was selected by the Phillies in the 22nd round Tuesday.

David Kerian, an infielder from Sioux City Heelan, was the only other current Iowa prep selected. He went to the Washington Nationals in the 42nd round. He has accepted a scholarship offer from Iowa Western Community College.

Two other Sioux City area athletes were chosen Wednesday. Damek Tomscha, a freshman third baseman from Iowa Western who was the Gatorade prep baseball player of the year in 2010 at Sioux City North, went to the Florida Marlins in the 36th round. Former Heelan prep Mike Bisenius, an outfielder from Wayne State, Neb., was taken in the 48th round by the Nationals.

Wartburg senior right-hander Brad Watson, a former Urbandale prep, went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 37th round. Former Burlington prep Travis Whitmore, a senior infielder at the University of Pittsbugh, was taken by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round. University of Illinois centerfielder Willie Argo, a Davenport Assumption product, was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 43rd round. Cody Gabella, a freshman shortstop at Southeastern Community College who prepped at West Burlington Notre Dame, was chosen by the Padres in the 43rd round.

A total of 15 Iowans were taken in the draft. A total of 1,530 players were chosen over the draft's three days.


Matt Holland drafted in 22nd round by Phillies

Matt Holland was following the Major League Draft on his computer Tuesday, round by round and pick by pick, when suddenly his name appeared and his dream came true.

The Philadelphia Phillies selected Holland in the 22nd round late Tuesday afternoon as the 691st pick overall, and 10 minutes later a Phillies scout called to discuss what happens next.

"It's a surreal feeling, that's for sure," Holland told the Metro Sports Report Tuesday night.

Holland, who graduated from Marion High School in 2006, had an oustanding year at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this season and was named a Louisville Slugger All-American. He hit .391 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs for the Islanders.

Holland said he'll probably meet with the Phillies scout on Wednesday or Thursday, then head straight to Clearwater, Fla., by the end of this week to begin his pro career. He's a left-handed hitter outfielder with good power.

Holland, 23, has already graduated from college, which doesn't give him much leverage with the Phillies in terms of negotiating a contract. He plans to sign and get started.


Fry's slam keys J-Hawks sweep

Kenna Fry's grand slam erased a three-run deficit and lifted No. 9 Jefferson past No. 12 Xavier, 12-10, Tuesday and to a sweep of a Mississippi Valley Conference softball doubleheader.

The J-Hawks won the opener, 6-2.

Rachel Sedlacek slugged home runs in both games for Jefferson (7-1, 4-0). Both were three-run shots and the second gave the J-Hawks a 7-6 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap.

“I just try to hit it where it’s pitched,” said Sedlacek, who was 5-for-9 with 7 RBIs in the twinbill. “I saw good pitches and did what I could. It worked out well tonight.”

Xavier (6-3, 5-3) came back and reclaimed the lead, 10-7, with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

But the J-Hawks weren't done, battling back again in the top of the sixth inning. A hit batsman, error and walk loaded the bases for Fry, who capped a night full of big hits with a grand slam.

“It was right down the middle and I just drove it up the middle,” said Fry, who was 2-for-4 with five RBIs in the nightcap.

Jefferson added another run in the seventh and Hannah Petersen shut down the Saints to cement her second win of the night.


Carter clubs 2 HRs in Prairie sweep

Prairie’s Gabby Carter wasn’t known as a power hitter going into Tuesday night's doubleheader against Cedar Rapids Washington. You may want to add that to her arsenal now. Carter slugged two home runs and notched 6 RBIs in Prairie’s 26-8 rout over Washington in the second game at the Washington softball field.

“Those home runs felt really good because those are among the first I have ever had,” said Carter of her performance at the plate.

Prairie's Taylor Stecklein also had a stellar night at the plate, going 7-for-7 in the second game and collecting 10 hits for the twinbill. The Hawks had 24 hits in game two.



Saints go marching for 6th title in row

The Xavier girls soccer earned another trip to the state tournament on Monday, but the Prairie Hawks made them sweat it out.

The top-ranked Saints prevailed, 1-0, in the Class 2A regional finals in sweltering heat at Xavier and will bid for their sixth state title in a row this week in Muscatine.

Xavier (16-2) will face Independence/East Buchanan (15-2) in the opening round of the Class 2A state tournament on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Muscatine soccer complex.

The Saints defeated the Prairie Hawks, 6-2, during the regular season, but Prairie goalkeeper Emily Musil played a superb game Monday and gave her team a chance to pull an upset.

"It was the best game she's ever played," Prairie Coach Cara Solness remarked.

Musil made a series of diving, sliding, fingertip grabs to keep the Saints off the scoreboard at Heco Field in the first half, and she nearly pitched a shutout for the entire game except for one bruising play early in the second half.

Musil tried to make an aggresive play for a loose ball in front of her goal, but she collided with a Xavier player and Annie Dale was able to score into an empty net with 31 minutes, 34 seconds to play. Sammi Shepard got credit for the assist.


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