Van Buren County Falls in the State Quarterfinal to West Lyon

Carroll, IA- Van Buren County’s comeback effort in the Class 2A state quarterfinal round came up just short against West Lyon as the Warriors fell 6-5 in Carroll. The contest got underway almost an hour after its scheduled time and lasted over two and a half hours, but the thrill of the game kept the entire crowd engaged.

West Lyon took advantage of some miscues by the Van Buren County defense as the first run scored on an error to start the game. A two-out rally by the Wildcats in the second inning put three more runs on the board to give West Lyon a 4 to 0 lead.

The Warriors looked poised to do some damage in the third inning after singles by Lucas Fett and Jackson Manning and walk by Taylor Sprouse loaded the bases up with no outs. However, the ball bounced the way of the Wildcats for most of the afternoon as a line drive was caught by Evan Faber at third base and he stepped on third for an unassisted double-play. A subsequent strikeout ended the inning with no runs coming to cross home plate.

The game appeared to be over when the Wildcats added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning with Faber collecting 3 RBIs in the contest. This also ended the day for Sprouse on the mound as Dylan Richardson took over in relief with the Wildcats leading 6 to 0.

Nevertheless, the top of the 4th inning saw a leadoff walk and Richardson RBI double to give Van Buren County their first run of the game. Three more walks, an RBI groundout by Sprouse, and three wild pitches suddenly had the Warriors down just one run, 6 to 5.

The Warriors did not surrender another run the rest of the game and Head Coach of Van Buren County Chad Scott expressed his pleasure for the job Richardson and Fett did in relief.

“Can’t say enough about Richardson and Fett both coming in and keeping us in the ballgame…”

Unfortunately, the Warriors could not score either with their best chance coming in the 7th inning. Down to their final out, Izaak Loeffler knocked a double to keep their hopes alive. But a diving play by Carter Ver Meer at the shortstop position ended the game.

The Warriors graduated seven seniors from this year’s squad: Jackson Manning, Taylor Sprouse, Anthony Duncan, Wyatt Mertens, Dominic Meierotto, Dylan Richardson, and Sam Warth. It was an emotional end to the season for Van Buren County.

“Can’t ask for a better group of kids and just appreciate everybody’s support that followed us up here and throughout the season and you know without them their what makes us special” said Coach Scott.

The Warriors finished the season with a 26-4 record, their first time winning 20 games in a season since the 2016 season. This was also their fourth time making it to the state tournament.