Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Hosch shines in No. 10 Xavier win

Xavier Coach Dave Schemmel got a pleasant surprise when he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday.

The Saints have cracked the Class 4A rankings for the first time this year and are No.10 in the poll.

"I just heard that when I walked across the bridge to the game," Schemmel said Tuesday night. "I didn't know anything about it. We'll take it."

Xavier celebrated its lofty status with a 6-2 victory over Bettendorf behind a strong pitching performance by Kevin Hosch.

There's a wooden bridge that leads to Ken Charipar Field at Xavier High School. By the time the Saints crossed that bridge to go home, they were 16-5 overall and happy with their new perch in the poll.

"The kids have been playing well. They have a decent record. I think we've been playing good enough baseball to be there (in the rankings)," Schemmel remarked. "But, it puts the bull's-eye on you, so every time out you have to play well."

Hosch carried a shutout into the seventh inning, but Bettendorf (2-11) scored two unearned runs with two outs on a deep fly ball to center into a suddenly heavy rain. Hosch got the next batter on a fly ball to right to end the game.

Hosch, a junior, had struggled in recent outings.

"It feels great, actually, to get my confidence back," he said. "I've had a few big innings put up against me. It's nice to get this game and a complete game."

Hosch struck out eight batters, allowed four hits (all singles) and walked four batters. Bettendorf did not send more than four batters to the plate until the seventh inning.


Spencer breaks state HR mark vs Linn-Mar

WATERLOO - The Linn-Mar softball team was a witness to history Tuesday.

Waterloo West senior Jadyn Spencer hit two home runs against the Lions in the second game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader to break the state record for most career homers.

Spencer slugged the 50th and 51st home runs of her career as Waterloo West won the nightcap, 7-2. The old record was 49 homers, set by former North Polk star Sammy Snygg.

For good measure, Spencer pitched a no-hitter for Waterloo West in the first game of the doubleheader for a 9-0 victory.

Spencer will play softball at the University of Alabama.


Freese leaves Warriors for Chi-Town Cream

Dakota Freese has left the Cedar Rapids Washington baseball team to play for the Chi-Town Cream, a summer travel team that's based in Chicago.

Freese said Monday he plans to play for the Chi-Town Cream for most of the summer, but plans to return to Cedar Rapids and play for Washington in the Class 4A substate tournament in mid-July.

Freese said he hopes playing for the Chi-Town Cream will improve his bargaining position with the Chicago White Sox, who selected him in the 34th round of the Major League draft this month.

"I'm trying to do as good as I can and face the best competition I can and get a good contract," he said.

Freese missed the first seven games of the 2011 high school campaign while serving an in-school suspension at Washington. He compiled a 1-1 record and 2.63 ERA for the Warriors in three appearances after the suspension, with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks in 16 innings. Opponents hit just .113 against him.


J-Hawks snap 7-game skid

Things got ugly during the Jefferson baseball team's seven-game losing streak this month.

Spotty pitching, leaky defense, not enough hitting, maybe a helmet tossed in anger.

The frustration ended Monday night when the J-Hawks clipped Iowa City West, 4-2, in the second game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at the Jefferson field.

Iowa City West won the opener, 14-9.

Jefferson was outscored, 70-23, during its seven-game skid, including an embarrassing twinbill against Dubuque Wahlert last Friday when the J-Hawks got drubbed 18-3 and 11-0.

"I don't remember having a streak like that before," said Jefferson Coach Mike Kuba. "It certainly hasn't happened in my 16 years, and probably 10 years prior to that."

Bailey Hollingsworth helped Jefferson (6-14, 4-10) end the tailspin in the nightcap with a strong performance on the mound. He tossed a complete game and his teammates made some sparkling plays in the field.


Father's Day message: Beware of curveballs

Like many of you, reflections of Father’s Day center on sports, the days you spent on the diamond or court or field when Dad was either coaching or watching.

Dads teach you lessons, whether they mean to or not. That’s what happened when I was a young baseball player.

I was probably 10 or 12 at the time, playing in the popular Cedar Hills Booster Club league at Cherry Hill Park. One summer day, our team was practicing on Diamond #1, the big field on what was then a three-diamond complex.

I was taking batting practice. A big, strong right-hander named Larry Paxton was pitching to us. Dad was standing behind Larry, analyzing our at-bats.

On one pitch, as I learned later, Dad leaned into Larry and said something along the lines of, “Throw him a curveball and see what he can do.’’ Larry was a year older than us and capable of throwing a breaking ball. I hadn’t seen many at that time.

The pitch came to me and it appeared the ball was headed right for my head. Instead of turning or backing away, I ducked down. The ball, of course, curved and smacked me right in the nose. Blood spurted and my nose was smashed. Dad loaded me in the car and we went to the hospital for repairs.



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