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Friday, December 14, 2018
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Iowa Valley League

Norway, Watkins split IVL twinbill

WATKINS - The Norway Bandits and Watkins Mudhens split an Iowa Valley League doubleheader in Watkins Saturday night.

Norway won the first game, 6-1, and Watkins rebounded in the nightcap for a 13-5 victory.

Sunday's doubleheaders that were supposed to feature Fairfax at Red Top and Williamsburg at Walford were canceled by rain and wet grounds and will be not be rescheduled.

NORWAY 6-5, WATKINS 1-13

Norway exploded for six runs in the fifth inning of the opener to take control in the 6-1 victory.

Tony Solato drew a walk and Christian Stekl was hit by a pitch to set the table for the Bandits. Ron Benich hit a key double for Norway in the inning and Mitch Walser had a two-run double. Benich and Walser had two hits in the game.

Brady Corson struck out eight batters in six innings for the victory.

Jonny Frese and Luke Hassman had two hits for Watkins in the opener.

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Rettenmeier tosses shutout for Red Top

Ben Rettenmeier pitched a shutout as Red Top blanked Norway, 2-0, in the first game of their Iowa Valley League doubleheader in Norway Sunday.

Norway rebounded with a 6-3 victory in the nightcap to split the twin-bill.

Elsewhere, Williamsburg and Watkins split their doubleheader in Williamsburg.

RED TOP 2-3, NORWAY 0-6

NORWAY - Rettenmeier is normally the closer for Red Top, but he tossed all seven innings in the complete-game victory.

Rettenmeier allowed seven hits in the ballgame. Norway bunched three of those hits in the second inning, but failed to score.

Red Top took a 1-0 lead in the opener on a single by Reid Bonner, a walk and an RBI single by Tyler Howe. Red Top made it 2-0 in the sixth on a double by Cale Henke and an RBI single by Ryan Rumpf, who had two hits for the winners.

Brady Corson pitched five strong innings for Norway and allowed only one run on four hits. Mitch Walser had two hits for the Bandits.

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Wood hopes to pitch for Hawkeyes

FAIRFAX - Elijah Wood was nervous before he pitched for Walford in the Iowa Valley League on Sunday because he knew Iowa Coach Rick Heller was sending one of his assistants to watch him throw, but he channeled that nervous energy into a strong outing that might land him a spot with the Hawkeyes.

Wood struck out seven batters in four innings and was the winning pitcher as Walford dumped Fairfax, 11-1, in the second game of their doubleheader at the Fairfax field.

Walford won the first game, 3-1, and jumped ahead of Fairfax into second place in the Iowa Valley League standings.

Wood, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, lives in Ainsworth, which is just a short 20-minute drive from Iowa City, and he grew up cheering for the Hawkeyes. He attended Washington High School and pitched the last two years at Marshalltown Community College, so now he's looking for an NCAA Division I school to continue his career.

Heller has not offered a scholarship yet, but the Iowa coach will probably get a favorable report from Sunday's game.

"I would very seriously consider it," said Wood. "It's close to home, I could come home and go deer hunting every weekend. It would be really cool if I could get in there. I hope they liked what they saw today."

Wood had a modest 3-5 record and 4.66 ERA at Marshalltown this past season, but those numbers should come with an asterisk. He had surgery this past December to remove a seven-inch blood clot in his left shoulder, a problem caused by a rib that affected the blood flow.

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Walford sweeps twinbill from Watkins

WATKINS - The Walford Hogs swept the Watkins Mudhens, 3-2 and 11-5, in an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at Watkins Sunday.

Norway's doubleheader at Fairfax was canceled due to wet grounds.

Juan Gonzales pitched five shutout innings for Walford in the first game of its twinbill against Watkins and was the winning pitcher. Diogenes Ceballos relieved in the seventh inning and got the save.

Walford took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI base hit by Tyler Butz. The Hogs made it 3-0 in the third, with the big hit an RBI double by Brennan Hammer.

Watkins pulled within 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Nick Brown and they made it 3-2 in the seventh on an RBI hit by Jack Strellner. Ceballos relieved with the tying run on base and finished the victory.

Ty Mougin and Jake Stenberg had two hits for Walford. Brown and Strellner had two hits for Watkins. Luke Franzenburg pitched a complete game for Watkins.

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Kass helps Red Top sweep Williamsburg

WILLIAMSBURG - Fritz Kinzenbaw has been a coach, general manager and goodwill ambassador for Red Top in the Iowa Valley League for many years and often has good advice for his players.

Billy Kass is glad he listened.

Kass belted a pair of home runs and went 5-for-6 Sunday as Red Top rolled to a pair of easy wins over Williamsburg, 14-3 and 11-0, with both games lasting only five innings on a steamy afternoon in Williamsburg.

Kass bunted for a base hit in Game 1 before socking a grand slam, a testament to the words of wisdom he received from Kinzenbaw a long time ago.

"He's been telling me that for years: He says if you get that first bunt down, all of a sudden you start seeing the ball a little better and that's when one gets out of the ballpark," said Kass. "It's something that stuck in my mind for awhile after eight years of playing for him."

Kass finished his day with a solo home run in the second game when he went 2-for-2 with a double, homer, walk, hit-by-pitch and scored three runs.

Red Top lifted its record to 9-1 with the sweep, good for a three-game lead in the Iowa Valley League standings at the mid-point of the campaign.

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Williamsburg takes twinbill from Norway

The Williamsburg Red Sox swept an Iowa Valley League doubleheader from the Norway Bandits Sunday in Norway to square their record at 4-4.

Elsewhere, the Walford Hogs upended Red Top in the second game of their doubleheader in Walford on a one-hitter by Diogenes Ceballos to hand Red Top its first loss of the campaign after seven straight wins.

WILLIAMSBURG 3-12, NORWAY 2-2

In what league officials called an "historic event," the Williamsburg Red Sox swept Norway on the road just three weeks after sweeping Watkins on the road for four victories against traditional IVL powers.

Williamsburg and Norway were tied, 2-2, heading into the top of the ninth inning in the opener. Garrett Saunders and Nolan Arp collected back-to-back doubles for Williamsburg in the ninth and Travis Bowman retired the side in the bottom of the ninth for the 3-2 victory.

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Bell fell in love with baseball again

WATKINS - Cody Bell was a member of the golf team at the University of Northern Iowa for two years, but he missed playing baseball so much that he transferred to Mount Mercy University two years ago and resumed his career on the diamond.

It turned out to be a great move.

Bell enjoyed a sensational season for Mount Mercy this season and he starred again on the mound Sunday for Fairfax in the first game of their Iowa Valley League doubleheader against Watkins.

Bell tossed a complete game and allowed only two earned runs as Fairfax topped the Mudhens, 7-3, on a warm day at Watkins. He allowed seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Watkins captured the second game, 8-2, for its first victory of the season.

Bell compiled an 8-2 record and 1.65 at Mount Mercy this year and was named first team all-conference. He also hit .298 with 18 RBIs for the Mustangs, who finished with a 34-14 record.

Bell, 22, was a multi-sport athlete at Cedar Rapids Kennedy in golf, basketball and baseball, but he wanted to try golf in college and enrolled at Northern Iowa four years ago, leaving baseball behind. His golf career never fully blossomed in college and as time went by he realized he sorely missed playing ball.

Bell decided to transfer to Mount Mercy, where he rejoined several of his former Kennedy teammates like Jimmy Lizarraga, Alex Hayden and Adam Lloyd.

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Fairfax, Norway sweep IVL doubleheaders

Fairfax and Norway swept their Iowa Valley League doubleheaders on Sunday, lifting their records to 4-2 after three weeks of the season.

Fairfax swept Williamsburg, 2-1 in eight innings and 5-0. Norway swept Walford, 6-1 and 4-2.

FAIRFAX 2-5, WILLIAMSBURG 1-0

FAIRFAX - Zach Daniels hit a single and scored the winning run on an RBI single by Cody Bell in the bottom of the eighth inning as Fairfax trimmed Williamsburg, 2-1, in the first game of their doubleheader.

Tyler Koningsmark pitched the first five innings for Fairfax, allowing one run on four hits. David Yancey tossed three scoreless innings in relief for the victory.

Fairfax took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the opener. Daniels had a base hit, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Lizarraga. Williamsburg tied the score, 1-1, in the fifth inning on a single by Garrett Saunders and an RBI double by Nolan Arp.

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Red Top's Howe is baseball lifer

SOLON - Tyler Howe simply cannot get enough baseball, despite two serious arm injuries that ended his professional career with the New York Mets organization four years ago.

Howe is the successful head coach at Northeast High School in Goose Lake during the week, then he stars for Red Top in the Iowa Valley League on Sundays.

"It's a busy summer," he acknowledged Sunday.

Howe belted a solo home run in the fourth inning to snap a scoreless tie and help Red Top blank Watkins, 3-0, in the second game of an IVL doubleheader at the Solon High School field.

Red Top won the first game, 5-2, and is undefeated this season at 6-0.

Howe, a catcher and first baseman, was on base all day with three walks, a hit-by-pitch and his towering home run to left-center field.

Howe, 30, looks forward to the games each week.

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Sauegling, Solato receive IVL honors

Aaron Sauegling and Tony Solato have been honored by the Iowa Valley League for Week 2 of the season.

Sauegling tossed a complete game for Red Top in a 7-3 victory over Fairfax and was named the Pitcher of the Week.

Solato belted two solo home runs for Norway in a 7-2 victory over Watkins and was named the Player of the Week.

 

Healthy Stroschein stars for Walford

WILLIAMSBURG - Austin Stroschein was lifting weights at Johnson County Community College in November of 2014 when his teammates noticed his right arm was swollen and discolored.

"I looked at it and my arms were completely different colors. It was blowing up," he said Sunday after starring for Walford in an Iowa Valley League doubleheader at Williamsburg.

"It looked like an elephant trunk. It was absolutely ridiculous."

It turned out that Stroschein, a Linn-Mar grad, had two blood clots in his right shoulder and it led to him having thoracic outlet surgery, where doctors removed his first rib to relieve pressure on the artery in his arm.

The surgery left a long scar at the bottom of his neck where the rib was removed, and it also left two scars on his back where surgeons placed a tube through his back during the operation.

Doctors cleared the blood clots with a stent and he was on blood thinners for several months.

"It was a tough process, but I'm feeling decent now," he said. "I'm throwing better, so I have to keep getting stronger."

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