Behind the lens at the state baseball tournament

I spent the last week in Des Moines covering the state baseball tournament, and it was a pretty eventful week both on and off the diamond so I thought I’d share some of the highlights here.

The first weekend of the state tournament was blisteringly hot. According to my phone there was heat index of 118 around first pitch on Friday afternoon. So in between innings I ventured out to the outfield fountain at Principal Park where some kids were cooling off for a heat feature.


I had my best angle on a play at the plate all week on Monday, when Dyersville Beckman’s Joel Vaske was tagged out while trying to score, he went flying straight in my direction after the collision with the catcher.

In 3A action on Tuesday, Solon took down the #1 seed Dubuque Wahlert. The game had multiple catchers interference calls, something one of the Solon coaches said he’d barely seen called all summer. I took this photo of Solon catcher Adam Bock laughing off one of the calls with the home plate umpire.


Solon exited in the semifinals in a sloppy game against Harlan. I was in the 3rd base photo well shooting with the longest lens I had when Harlan’s Nolan Hesse slid into the base as throw was fumbled by the Spartan’s 3rd baseman, which made for a nice tight shot of all the important elements of the play.


I experimented with different remote camera locations all week with mixed success. This one aimed at 2nd base with the 3rd baseman stepping into the frame on this Cedar Rapids Prairie double play made for a nice composition in the Prairie Hawks’ quarterfinal win over Davenport West on Wednesday.


Iowa City West’s dugout was generally a lively place over the course of the week, with bald eagle hats, calls for “burrito lift,” and seemingly mile-high rally caps.


Of course the rally cap worked in the semifinals, and West beat Des Moines Roosevelt with a Jason Strunk 425ft bomb of a walk-off home run — easily the most dramatic moment of the week.


The 4A title game concluded with Cedar Rapids Prairie winning its 1st ever state baseball championship over Iowa City West, who finished the tournament as runners up for the 3rd successive year. The contrasting emotions on the field told the story.


Click here for some more of my favorite shots from last week.

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