Iowa City West routs Pleasant Valley in substate baseball opener

Trojans pound Spartans for 9 runs on 11 hits.

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IOWA CITY — Iowa City West made short work of Pleasant Valley Friday in a 9-0 rout in a Class 4A first-round substate game.

The No. 2-ranked Trojans (32-6) posted two runs in the first inning and followed that with a four-run fourth inning that included a three-run home run by Connor McCaffery. The bats were alive, as the Trojans tallied 11 hits, but the Trojans showed good plate awareness as well in drawing nine walks. They did leave 12 runners on base, but in a 9-0 shutout, those runners carry less significance.

“I liked that, you know we come out as the one seed, and we thought we were going to see a guy throwing in the low 80s, and he came out throwing 85 to 86,” West head coach Charlie Stumpff said, referring to Pleasant Valley starter Will Christophersen. “We just kept batting.

“We have a deep lineup that’s seeing the ball well right now,”

The Trojans chased Christopherson after just 2 1/3 innings. The sophomore threw almost exclusively fastballs and around 80 pitches in just two innings. He was charged with the first six West runs, and though the stable of pitchers the Spartans (14-22) sent to the mound faired better, the Trojan lineup’s damage had been done.

Meanwhile, Austin Miller pitched six scoreless innings, giving up three hits, with a pitch count only in the mid-60s when Stumpff sent Tanner Lohaus on to close out the game in the seventh.

Stumpff said he made the switch because Lohaus had not pitched since West played City High and wanted Lohaus to see the mound.

“The first two innings I was leaving balls up a lot over the white, and then I had the two seam working, it was getting a lot, a lot of movement and it was getting all the guys off the hands,” Miller said. “That’s what I was staying with.”

Everything went right for the Trojans Friday. They drew a bye to the substate final on Wednesday, and now await the winner of Monday’s Davenport Central-Burlington game. If the bats and arms work as well then, the Trojans have as good a chance as anyone to make the state tournament.

“We’ve got 10-11 guys who can just crush the ball,” Nate Disterhoft said. “We don’t have one superstar. We have a bunch of guys who hit the ball hard every time.

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