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CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa City West’s Tony Comellas has experienced big games at the plate.
They came in Little League or even at the sophomore level. The Trojans junior has done it at the varsity level now as well.
Comellas belted two home runs with five RBIs in the opener of West’s Mississippi Valley Conference prep baseball doubleheader split against Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The Trojans won the first game, 10-1. The host J-Hawks rebounded for a 4-3 victory in the nightcap.
After a pop out to end the first inning, Comellas dialed in and smacked home runs in consecutive at-bats in the third and fourth innings. He doubled his season home run total to four.
“My first at-bat I was chasing pitches and trying to hit the ball out,” Comellas said. “Afterward, I just settled in and let the ball do its thing and it went out.”
The first shot cleared the tall blue fence in left field, driving in Teagan Bell and Connor McCaffery for a 4-0 lead.
“It felt really good,” Comellas said. “I connected on all of that one.”
Comellas has been able to drum up power to the opposite-field alley in the past. He didn’t hit the second one as hard, but he cleared the right-center field fence to bring in McCaffery and make it an 8-0 advantage.
“He threw me a fastball up and away,” Comellas said. “I had to go with it and the wind was blowing out. I just went with the pitch.”
He provided run support for McCaffery, who stifled the Jefferson batters. McCaffery tossed a complete game six-hitter, striking out seven and walking none.
Comellas drove in the first run of the second game for West (17-6, 9-5 MVC Mississippi). He smacked an RBI double to bring in Izaya Ono-Fullard, raising his season RBI total to 22.
“He’s been really hitting well,” West Coach Charlie Stumpff said. “He’s good protection for Connor and Izaya.”
Jefferson walked Comellas intentionally in the final inning, moving the tying run into scoring position. The J-Hawks gamble paid dividends, getting an impressive catch in foul territory from Connor Van Scoyoc during the next at-bat to end the game. Jefferson didn’t want Comellas to do any more damage
“When he commands the zone and stays within himself, he’s done good work,” Stumpff said. “He’s got a lively bat.”
Jefferson (12-9, 9-5 MVCM) rebounded in the game two. The J-Hawks led throughout, getting a key contribution from brother duo Drake and Brayden Frazier, who had two hits apiece.
Drake Frazier led off the third with a single, scoring on his older brother’s base hit. Van Scoyoc capped off the inning with an RBI double to score Willie Guy, who closed out the game and stranded the tying run at second for the save. Guy also finished with four total hits.
Drake Frazier singled and scored the game-winning run in the fourth, stealing home on a pickoff attempt of another runner.
Jefferson sophomore Chase Keeney threw 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory. He allowed just four hits and struck out six.
“Chase pitched a heck of a game,” Jefferson Coach Kyle Rodenkirk said. “He has really stepped up and contributed quite a bit to the varsity team.
“We played decent defense behind him and got some key hits when we needed.”
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