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Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Logan Wagemester records no-hitter in baseball doubleheader sweep of Jefferson
Wagemester retired last 10 batters to close 11-0 victory; Hawks win nightcap, 10-3, to remain unbeaten
CEDAR RAPIDS — Logan Wagemester knew the circumstances.
His Cedar Rapids Prairie teammates did as well. None of them, however, dared to mention it out loud until it was completed or thwarted. They stuck to the baseball custom surrounding a no-hit bid.
“I had an idea,” Wagemester said. “We don’t say anything because the baseball gods are always listening. Don’t want to jinx anything.
“They were giving me high-fives. They told me good job. Nothing but support.”
Wagemester maintained his mojo on the mound for all six innings Thursday night and tossed a no-hitter in the opener of the Hawks’ Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader sweep of host Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Class 4A No. 4 Prairie won 11-0 and 10-3 to remain unbeaten.
The Hawks celebrated after the final line out was squeezed at first base. They rushed the field to congratulate Wagemester.
“It was fun coming back in every inning,” said Wagemester. “I know these guys have my back when I’m going out there. I only had four strikeouts, so it was pretty much all of them, trusting them to keep the runs going. It all fell together.”
Instead of dreaming of a varsity no-hitter, he will have an instant reminder of the one he achieved. He received the game ball and had it stashed in his bag for the road home.
“Probably in my bedroom,” Wagemester said about the display for the game ball. “See it every night.”
Prairie Coach James Nelson said Wagemester has been a strong addition to the pitching staff in his first varsity season. His experience in varsity basketball helped him transition to the same level in baseball. Nelson said he realized Wagemester could move into the back end of the rotation at the start of practice.
“Every outing he’s had has been solid for us,” Nelson said. “He fills up the zone and does a really good job for us. He has found his way, filling in our rotation with a new guy. He’s been big, especially these weeks we have six games. You have to have quite a few starters to pull it off.”
The junior right-hander admitted he doesn’t have overpowering stuff. He was accurate and efficient, throwing only 70 pitches in six innings. Wagemester is at his best when he gets batters to put the ball in play without solid contact. He said he trusted the defense behind him.
“He makes a point of pitching to contact and making guys hit the ball,” Nelson said. “He lets the defense play and has done a great job.”
Wagemester pitches at a quick pace, wasting little time to step on the pitching rubber after getting the baseball. He gets in a rhythm and keeps teammates engaged with the up-tempo delivery.
“Guys love playing behind that,” Nelson said. “He’s one of our better ones of being able to keep that pace for our defense.
“It’s good stuff.”
Wagemester was in command from the start, allowing just three total baserunners. One technically reached on an error in the first but was thrown out trying to advance to second immediately after an errant throw to first on a groundball. He walked the leadoff batter in the second and walked another with two outs in the third inning.
“I started the second with four straight balls and it was kind of shaky,” said Wagemester, who donned his lucky white tank top under his jersey. “I started feeling it in the third inning. It gave my confidence a boost and it carried me through the rest of the game.”
None of the J-Hawk baserunners reached second base safely. Wagemester stifled Jefferson after the second base on balls, retiring the final 10 J-Hawks in a row. Only two balls were hit out of the infield for the last 3 2/3 innings.
“I get going like that and I feel like I am in a groove,” Wagemester said. “I just feel it. I don’t feel like I’m going to throw a ball. It’s going to be a strike and it’s going to go where I want it to go.”
Prairie (9-0) entered the doubleheader scoring more than 6.1 runs per game. It raised that average to over 7.1. The Hawks’ first three batters provided all the offense needed.
Leadoff batter Kade Knock, Cal Sullivan and Maddux Frese combined to go 6-for-10, including a hit by pitch and a walk, six runs and five RBIs. Knock led off the twin bill with a triple and scored on a Sullivan double. Maddux added a three-run home run in the sixth.
They combined for four more hits, four RBIs and six runs in the nightcap. Knock scored three times, hitting a solo home run in the fifth.
“Those guys are staples for us,” Nelson said. “They’re at another level. They’ve played a lot of baseball for us.
“Kade has been phenomenal to add to those other two guys. They’ve been leading us and hopefully our younger guys will learn from that and follow suit.”
Jefferson’s Carson Dighton had two doubles and drove in a run in the nightcap. Logan Boll went 1-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI for the J-Hawks (5-5).