Prep Baseball: Pitching Shines in Postseason Play

Prep Baseball- June has come and gone along with twenty or so regular season baseball games, leading the state of Iowa to dive into postseason play for Class 1A and Class 2A last night. Despite the temperate weather, pitching took center stage for the opening round.

Class 1A

Substate 6 District 11 witnessed New London and Danville travel to Keota for the Tigers to face off against Pekin and the Bears taking on the host team, the Eagles.

The first game of the night had New London jump on Pekin for three runs in the 2nd inning after a two-RBI double from the bat of Memphis Watson. Gavin Menke-Bailey started the game on the mound and picked up the win for the Tigers 3-0 to improve to 8-14 on the season.

The Tigers will stay on the road for the district 11 semifinals as they are set to take on Burlington Notre Dame on Tuesday, July 9th, at 7 pm. KILJ 105.5 FM,, will be on the call.

Cole Kindred’s five innings on the bump, allowing only three hits and one run while fanning seven led the charge for Keota’s 4-1 win over Danville last night as Blake Baker added three more Ks to the stat line in relief.

Danville finished the season with a 4-15 record as the Eagles will take on Moravia on the road on Tuesday.

District 12’s Lone Tree upset Highland 9-3, while Hillcrest Academy snuck past HLV 5-4, and BGM took down Wapello 5-3.

Class 2A

KILJ’s double feature in Mediapolis starred four teams and two matchups for Substate 5 District 10: Winfield-Mt. Union versus Louisa-Muscatine and Mediapolis versus West Burlington.

Game one was a rematch of last year’s first round matchup where the Wolves pulled off the upset to win their first postseason game since 2020. This season it was Winfield-Mt. Union who entered as the favorite attempting to beat Louisa-Muscatine for the third time.

Winfield-Mt. Union’s Trevor Phillips was given the ball for the start and for head coach Nick Swanson it was his ace up his sleeve,

“Yeah, I’ve been saying it all year. Trevor Phillips is probably one of the better kids in the state. If he can throw strikes and that’s not a knock to him, it really isn’t. But when he throws strikes, he is dangerous…”

He was dangerous to say the least, allowing only one run on one hit in six innings of work. Additionally, the sophomore fanned 10 Falcons on the night; however, five walks and one hit batter was his only flaw of the night. Phillips also brough his bat with an RBI single in the first inning putting the Wolves on the board first.

Cole Milks added an RBI double and Tyson Kaalberg finished with an RBI himself as the Wolves exited with the 4-1 victory. Hayden Cantrell had the lone hit and RBI for Louisa-Muscatine as they finished with a 5-16 record.

The Wolves will now face off against Anamosa on Tuesday at 7 pm on the road. Coach Swanson talked about his team’s focus heading into the matchup,

“Yeah, just doing the little things. It’s kind of like our approach all year. You know, we want to make sure that we do the little things right, you know. We throw strikes. We make them earn it. You know, I’m a firm believer in, you know, baseball, anything can happen. So, we’re definitely going to be ready to go.”

Mediapolis gave the home crowd something to cheer about in game two with the Bulldogs taking on West Burlington. Lance Ludens and Max Griffin combined for a near perfect game with an error providing the only blemish against the Bulldogs, defeating the Falcons 8-0.

Officially, Ludens went 5.1 innings, tallying seven strikeouts, while Griffin finished the game with two strikeouts. On offense, Ludens got the game rolling with a two-RBI triple that he attempted to extend into an inside-the-park home run.

Kyler Crow knocked in two runs off his own triple in the sixth inning. West Burlington finished the season with a 7-14 record. The Bulldogs will also make the trip to Anamosa to take on Mid-Prairie at 5 pm on Tuesday with the winner advancing to the district 10 championship.

Lastly, we look to Substate 6 District 12 where Van Buren County made the trip to Central Lee. The Warriors were tasked to take on Cardinal in the opening round and held a one-run lead briefly, but Cardinal responded by scoring eight runs in the first four innings. The Comets surrendered a run, but eventually won 8-2.

Van Buren County ended the season with an 8-17 record, while Cardinal advanced to take on Interstate 35 on Tuesday at 7 pm.

On the bottom half of the bracket, Central Lee exploded for five runs in the third inning to take a 5 to 3 lead and never looked back, winning 8-4 over Centerville. Brayden Wyrick finished with a double on two hits and two RBIs. Cory Jones led the team with three RBIs as he smacked a triple for the Hawks.

Central Lee will hit the road to compete against Pleasantville on Tuesday at 7 pm at Pleasantville.

Class 3A and Class 4A will begin their postseason matchups on Friday, July 12th, at 7 pm. KILJ will be on the call as Mt. Pleasant hosts Fort Madison for Class 3A Substate 5.