116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Gazette takes a look at some of the high school baseball results from last week and upcoming games of interest this week.
Lisbon’s roaring comeback
Lisbon is off to a strong beginning to the season, despite an inconvenient start with the earlier schedule. The Lions were unable to compete the first week with athletes still in track and golf seasons. Weather cancellations and postponements also affected games, leaving Lisbon with just one game the first two weeks. The Lions still are 7-1 and ranked sixth in the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 1A rankings.
The Lions’ 13-8 victory over nearby rival Mount Vernon Friday at Lisbon City Park was impressive. The Mustangs led 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth before Lisbon scored 10 runs to take the lead for good.
Just about everybody contributed. Dillon Brayton and Kaden Caspers started the inning with consecutive base hits. Alex Bock’s one-out single followed an error and walk. Tyson Scott provided a two-run single to tie the game. Brayton’s second at-bat of the inning was an RBI single and Tyler Scott closed the outburst with a two-run base hit.
“We started with a come-from-behind win to open the season against West Branch,” Lisbon Coach John Tesensky said, “and I think that it speaks to our experience and the confidence that our guys have created.”
Tesensky said pitching was a strength for last year’s state quarterfinal team. Every win and inning pitched return. Pitchers have attacked the strike zone with confidence and have received plenty of support from an offense that entered Monday’s scheduled games against Central City scoring 10.1 runs per game.
Unlike Tesenky’s three previous Lisbon rosters, this one is filled with upperclassmen. The team includes eight juniors and two seniors. They have won five straight, sweeping Clinton Prince of Peace, 12-1 and 10-0, on Saturday at home. Lisbon also swept Calamus-Wheatland last week.
“The experience has showed so far,” Tesensky said. “We’ve certainly made mistakes, but they’ve not been the youthful ones or the ‘growing pains.’ And when we’ve gotten down big (e.g. Mount Vernon), we’ve been composed and trusted our lineup to get us back into the game. It’s been great to see this and I think our experience is a big reason for it.”
Hunter Clark is the Lions’ ace with a 2-0 record without allowing an earned run this season. Tyson Scott is also 2-0 and owns a 0.58 ERA. Tyson Scott has also been a force at the plate with a team-high three home runs and 15 RBIs. Tyler Scott has ignited the offense as the leadoff hitter, batting .357 with a .440 on-base percentage.
“A great start is not a bad thing, but you don’t contend for a district title or state run in May,” Tesensky said. “We’ve got some really solid competition ahead and a lot of work to put in. It will be fun to see where we’re at against good teams later in the year as pitchers and hitters are more comfortable with more (innings pitched) and (at-bats).
“It’s my hope that our best baseball comes in late June (and) early July.”
Cedar Rapids Washington’s quarter
Tallying 25 runs is awesome. Doing it against a top-ranked team is an eye-opener. Cedar Rapids Washington did exactly that with a victory at 3A No. 1 Dubuque Wahlert on Friday. The Warriors trounced the Golden Eagles, 25-7, in the opener of a doubleheader split.
Washington scored in each of the last six innings and led 14-2 after 4 1/2 innings. Wahlert avoided the 10-run mercy rule with five in the bottom of the fifth. The Warriors added two in the sixth and a whopping nine in the seventh. They tallied 21 hits, consisting of 16 singles, three doubles and two triples.
Jaxton Schroeder went 4-for-4 with five RBIs to lead Washington. Teammates Roman Rivera and Jack Rogers added three hits and four RBIs apiece. Rogers scored four times, while John Schultz and Caden Stock had three runs each.
“We have a lineup full of guys that have put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Washington Coach Scott Brune said. “This has led to confidence at the plate from top to bottom. The kids all believe in themselves and each other.”
North Linn’s cardiac cats
North Linn posted back-to-back wins with comebacks in the bottom of the seventh against Monticello and Easton Valley at home. On Wednesday, the 1A third-ranked Lynx scored two in their last at bat to eat the Panthers, 7-6. The next day North Linn managed three in the last inning to drop the River Hawks, 8-7.
Against Monticello, Trey McEnany faced a 0-2 count when he belted a two-out bases-clearing triple to score Jarin Peyton and Corbin Woods for the victory.
Cole Griffith and Cael Benesh capped the comeback against Easton Valley with consecutive run-scoring singles.
"Two crazy nights of baseball in a row,” North Linn Coach Travis Griffith said. “We made some mental mistakes that is pretty out of character for our team. But, hats off to the boys for not getting riled. We found a way to grind it out with a couple new heroes stepping up each night. Gritty team effort. “
Look ahead: Games to watch this week
Tuesday: Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. The Cedar Rapids Community School District teams still play home-and-home games on consecutive days instead of varsity doubleheaders, which is a neat format. The teams started the week with similar records. The two programs have played some wild games, including extra-inning contests.
Wednesday: Western Dubuque at Cedar Rapids Prairie. Western Dubuque is ranked fifth in 3A. Prairie has been a mainstay in the top 10 of 4A, sitting eighth in this week’s coaches poll. The Bobcats are a hot 10-0 in the Mississippi Valley Conference and sit atop the Mississippi Division. Prairie is 6-4 in the conference and needs these games to contend for a title.
Thursday: Lansing Kee at South Winneshiek. A clash between two of Northeast Iowa’s finest small-school programs. Kee opened the week ranked fifth in 1A with a 13-2 record. The Warriors entered the week 7-0 and ranked eighth. The Hawks were a state finalist last year, while the Warriors were a 2020 state qualifier. Kee has won three of the last four, including a 4-2 victory in last season’s substate final. Before 2021, South Winn won 11 straight in the series.
Friday: Dyersville Beckman at Cascade. Few baseball rivalries can match this Dubuque County battle. Baseball is king in this area. This is the last season this battle is not a conference game again with Beckman moving from the Wamac Conference to the River Valley. Both teams are ranked in 2A – Beckman is fifth with an 8-5 record and Cascade is 10th with a 6-1 mark.
Saturday: Fight with Flash Iowa City Crosstown Classic at Solon Recreation and Nature Area. The annual baseball classic to honor Austin “Flash” Schroeder, who died in 2015 after a battle with T-cell lymphoma. The event features programs from Iowa City, Clear Creek Amana and Solon and has become a day-long fundraiser for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Adolescent Young Adult Cancer Program. Solon and Iowa City High open at 11 a.m. Iowa City West and Iowa City Regina are slated at 1:30 p.m. and Iowa City Liberty and CCA set for 4 p.m.