Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Red Top ousts Stars from state tourney

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Red Top and the Stars never expected to face each other in an elimination game on the first weekend of the IABA state tournament, but that's exactly what happened here Sunday.

The contest matched Red Top, which won the 2016 state title, against the Stars, who captured the 2017 state crown in a battle to see who would stay alive in the two-week tourney.

As it turned out, it wasn't much of a battle at all.

Red Top defeated the Stars, 9-1, at Douglas Park in Rock Island, Ill.,  to keep their championship hopes alive and prevent the Stars from successfully defending their title.

Darren Kilpatrick allowed one run on only hit in six innings for the Toppers, who got a base hit from every batter in their lineup.

"The guys were locked in today," said Red Top Manager Adam Sadler. "We haven't hit the ball consistently all year, up and down the lineup, but we did today. It was fun."

Cal Clark went 3-for-3 with a double and RBI. Kirby Kerr was 3-for-4,  Ethan Copeland went 2-for-4 with a three-run triple, Nick Day contributed a two-run double and Casey Pauli had two hits.

The Stars finished with a 1-2 record in the tournament.

Red Top (2-1) will face the Muscatine Flames (2-1) when the tournament resumes this Saturday at Norway, with the game scheduled for noon.

The Muscatine Road Runners (2-1) face Norway (2-1) at 2 p.m., followed by Walford (3-0) against Red Top or the Flames at 4 p.m. The second round will finish Saturday at 6 p.m. with Williamsburg (2-0) meeting the Road Runners or Norway.

The tournament will continue next Sunday at Norway, with a second championship game on Monday night, if needed.

"I feel good," said Sadler. "Any time you keep playing, you feel good to have an opportunity to win a state championship. It's up for grabs."

Williamsburg, Walford and Norway won both of their games on Saturday, but Williamsburg won the tiebreaker (fewest runs allowed) and drew a bye on Sunday into Week 2.

Walford nipped Norway, 6-5, in the winners bracket final Sunday in Rock Island to remain undefeated. The Bandits put runners at first and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but their next batter hit into a double play to end the game.

The tournament began with 12 teams. Now six teams have reached Week 2,  with four of those teams from the Iowa Valley League. All of next weekend's games will be played at Norway.

At Rock Island, Ill.

Red Top 9, Stars 1 (Stars eliminated)
Muscatine Road Runners 6, Watkins 2 (Watkins eliminated)
Muscatine Flames 5, Whiteside County Wildcats 2 (Wildcats eliminated)
Walford 6, Norway 5

At Norway

Noon - Red Top (2-1) vs Flames (2-1)
2 p.m. - Road Runners (2-1) vs Norway (2-1)
4 p.m. - Walford (3-0) vs Red Top/Flames winner (3-1)
6 p.m. - Williamsburg (2-0) vs Road Runners/Norway winner (3-1)


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