Wednesday, April 08, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

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.”


No.14 Saints overpower Lions in MVC twinbill

Erin Drahozal is just an eighth grader. She hasn't taken a single class at Xavier High School yet and doesn't know her way around the school.

"I'm hoping some of the freshmen can help me out," she said Tuesday night.

She knows her way around a softball field just fine, however.

Drahozal pitched a six-hit shutout as the 14th-ranked Saints smothered Linn-Mar, 13-0, to sweep a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at the Linn-Mar field.

Xavier won the first game, 10-0, in five innings behind a three-hit shutout by sophomore Jaycee Wiebold.

The Saints hit seven home runs in the doubleheader, including back-to-back-to-back shots by Tyler Sampson, Kristen Winter and Emily Walton in the seventh inning of the nightcap.

"I don't know that we've ever done that before," Coach Brian Erbe remarked.

Sampson smashed three homers in the twinbill and Miller hit a pair. Walton and Drahozal had one apiece as part of a 25-hit attack in just 12 innings of softball.

Meanwhile, the Xavier pitchers tossed a pair of shutouts and the Saints committed only one error all day. The Lions never got a runner to third base.


By a lot or a little, J-Hawks know how to win

IOWA CITY - Jefferson softball coach Larry Niemeyer could afford to joke a little bit after the No. 4 J-Hawks swept Iowa City High Tuesday night.

“We had it all the way,” Niemeyer joked after the J-Hawks won the nightcap of the MVC doubleheader, 2-1. Jefferson (25-5, 18-1) took the opener, 13-3.

The truth is the J-Hawks did not have it all the way. In fact, they did not have a lead until the seventh inning when junior Hannah Petersen doubled home what turned out to be the winning run.

“I knew my team needed me and I needed to be a clutch hitter,” Petersen said. “I was just begging for a good pitch to hit and I got it.”

The J-Hawk offense struggled to figure out sophomore pitcher Erin Weno. Jefferson managed to get just three hits off Weno, but used some walks and aggressive base running to pull out the victory.

Jefferson was shut out through five innings and managed only one hit, senior Katie Naber's two-out single in the second inning.

Naber, who pitched the nightcap for the J-Hawks, worked her way out of many difficult situations, leaving seven Little Hawk runners in scoring position, including at least one in each of three innings.

“I’m back,” said Naber, who has not pitched in a close game since coming back from suspension in mid-June.

Naber looked like her old self, but gave up a run in the fourth inning that put the J-Hawks in a 1-0 hole. Sam Blowers' two-out RBI single scored Whitney Duthie, who had  doubled.

Jefferson tied the game in the sixth. Pinch hitter Maddie Hanson, an eighth grader, singled with one out. After a pair of passed balls, senior pinch runner Ashley Madsen scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Kaitlyn Davidson.

The stage was set for drama and neither team disappointed.


Former Metro preps in pro baseball

RYAN SWEENEY (Xavier, Oakland Athletics) -- Started in left field and was 0-for-3 in the Athletics' 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .280 (37-132), HR -- 0, RBI -- 9, 2B -- 5, 3B -- 1, R -- 15, SB -- 1.

MATT HOLLAND (Marion, GCL Phillies) -- Started at designated hitter and first base in a pair of games Tuesday. Went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in a 9-2 win over the GCL Pirates that was the completion of Monday's suspended game. Then went 1-for-3 with a run scored in a 3-1 win in the scheduled game against the Pirates.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .364 (8-22), HR -- 1, RBI -- 4, 2B -- 2, 3B -- 0, R -- 7, SB -- 0.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Prairie, Ogden (Dodgers)) -- Was designated hitter Tuesday and was 1-for-4 with a single in Ogden's 3-2 loss at Orem.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .326 (14-43), HR -- 2, RBI -- 8, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 1, R -- 7, SB -- 0.

KELLEN SWEENEY (Jefferson, Bluefield (Blue Jays)) -- Started at third base and was 0-for-5 with an RBI Tuesday in Bluefield's 8-7 loss to Bristol.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .138 (4-29), HR -- 0, RBI -- 1, 2B -- 1, 3B -- 0, R -- 2, SB -- 0.

NATE WOODS (Xavier, GCL Marlins) -- Started at third base Tuesday in the Marlins' game against the GCL Mets. The game was suspended in the top of the second inning. Woods was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance, but did not leave the game.
Year-to-date: Batting avg. -- .333 (8-24), HR -- 0, RBI -- 2, 2B -- 2, 3B -- 0, R -- 6, SB -- 0.


Christensen ties 2 marks; Cougars, Saints split

Austin Christensen has been setting records all season with his uncanny ability to smash a baseball.

Now he's written his name into the Kennedy High School record book as a pitcher, too.

Christensen tied the school mark for career victories Monday night as the fifth-ranked Cougars smashed No.8 Xavier, 18-1, in four innings in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Kennedy Field.

Xavier won the nightcap, 6-5.

Christensen collected the 26th win of his prep career, matching Danny Bales for the most victories in school history. Bales compiled a 26-7 mark at Kennedy from 2001 to 2004, while Christensen has posted a 26-6 mark since 2007.

"I'm very happy to have my name by his," Christensen said. "I remember watching him when I was a kid. He was an absolute stud. I've got some work to do still."


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