Mustangs peaking for postseason
Prep notes: Mount Vernon, C.R. Jefferson top ranked foes
MOUNT VERNON — The day had a postseason feel and the results could be a good sign for the Mount Vernon baseball team.
The Class 2A seventh-ranked Mustangs beat Anamosa before finishing a doubleheader sweep of No. 3 Dyersville Beckman, including the resumption of a previous game suspended by darkness, at Cornell College’s Ask Park.
On a rare night of competition, the Mustangs played a little less than a triple-header highlighted the clash of highly-ranked Wamac Conference foes. Mount Vernon and Beckman resumed a game from last week that was tied, 8-8, in the ninth. They played three innings before the Mustangs capitalized on a few opportunities. Jake Pisarik led off the bottom of the 11th with a walk and Trey Ryan and Noah Dahlstrom loaded the bases with consecutive bunt singles with no out. When a pitch to Luke Eldred sailed high and tipped off the catcher’s mitt, Pisarik raced home with the winning run.
The win can propel them into 2A district play.
“It’s a good one, especially starting a game in extra innings and having to switch on the postseason mentality,” Mount Vernon Coach Jeremy Elliott said. “The boys did a good job. Dyersville did a great job, too. We both had chances in each inning. We were fortunate to take advantage of that last opportunity.”
The Mustangs (24-9) received a strong pitching performance from sophomore Adam Ketelsen in the final game, beating Beckman 9-3. Tristan Wirfs helped break the game open with a three-run double, giving Mount Vernon a 4-0 lead. The Mustangs added at least one run in each of their last three at-bats. It was plenty for Ketelsen, who struck out 11 in 5 1/3 innings. Marquis Dew relieved Ketelsen.
Former major league pitcher and Mustang assistant, Cal Eldred, has worked with Ketelsen, adjusting his mechanics.
“He’s been a lot better and more effective since then,” Elliott said. “We’re looking for good things from him, not only the rest of this season but next two years.”
Luke Eldred, Ketelsen, Dew, Pisarik and Jack Cochrane, who threw a complete game in Mount Vernon’s 5-1 win over Anamosa, give them a deep rotation for the postseason. Mount Vernon received a first-round bye and plays the winner between West Branch and West Liberty at home Tuesday.
“it gives you options,” Elliott said. “Now you just have to figure out the best options at the appropriate times.”
The final game was interrupted three times for a trio of raccoons that wandered into left field. Elliott chased them off the first time. Mount Vernon Mitch Wirfs and Beckman’s Tony Anstoetter did it the last two times.
After the game, Elliott said he had never done that previously. He laughed, saying his only practice was with wrangling kids in the past.
Jefferson avenges loss
Cedar Rapids Jefferson added to its list of impressive wins this week, beating Class 4A third-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 6-5, at home Tuesday.
A day after an 11-1 loss in five innings to the Cougars, the J-Hawks scored five runs in the final three innings, handing Zach Daniels his first loss of the season and snapping a six-game losing streak. Lucas Larson hit a home run in the bottom of the seventh for the win. Larson finished with three hits, including two doubles.
Spencer Van Scoyoc started the comeback with a three-run homer in the fifth. Ben Koering, who threw a complete game for the win, tied the score, 5-5, in the sixth with a home run.
Jefferson also has a win over top-ranked Dubuque Hempstead and improved to 20-12 with a 9-4 win over Davenport North. Second-year head coach Kyle Rodenkirk has led the J-Hawks to the most wins since a 22-19 campaign in 2010.
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