IOWA CITY — The only thing missing from last night’s baseball doubleheader between Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Iowa City West was Tom Cruise and a plot to save the world.
Nothing short of dramatic, West finally prevailed in a 9-8 victory for the sweep against Jefferson after the J-Hawks had rallied twice to force three extra innings.
“It was important to have adversity at that point because it had been going easy for us here lately,” said Coach Charlie Stumpff.
“It’s a big game because we’re both in the substate.”
The hero of the night was Devin Raffensberger, who punched in the walk-off run with his line drive down the left field line.
“With going a couple extra innings, it was huge,” Raffensberger said. “It was a big win for us, and the emotion. ... I was excited, that’s for sure.”
A rally in the seventh got Jefferson tied at 6-6 after a couple of pitching miscues walked two runners in.
In the eighth inning, Lucas Larson blasted a two-run homer to put the J-Hawks up 8-6.
With a full count and two down in the bottom of the eighth, it was as if Tyus Adkins had practiced the scenario over and over in his backyard.
“You do when you’re a kid,” Adkins said. “You’re in the World Series and you got this, but only in dreams. I was in the dugout talking to myself saying ‘I love being in these shoes.’”
Adkins knocked in two runs to tie it at 8-8, forcing the ninth and tenth innings.
West won the opener, 6-0. The Trojans got five runs in two innings on home runs by Brock Hatzky and Grant Ewing.
With a substate tournament right around the corner, Stumpff said he’s relying on a solid pitching staff to take his team deep into the postseason.
“It looks like one of us will be a one and the other one of us will be a two,” Stumpff said. “I don’t know where that puts us, but wherever we end up, I’m confident.”