116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DYERSVILLE — Eli Green partakes in a specific pregame ritual.
The Cascade senior heads to Casey’s between batting practice and hopping on the bus. He buys two Body Armor drinks – Strawberry Banana and Blueberry Pomegranate – a cereal bar and some chicken tenders.
“I’ve done that all year,” Green said with a laugh. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just comforting having the same routine.”
Cougars Coach Roamn Hummel better make sure the convenience store is stocked up before their next game. Green pitched six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, propelling Cascade to a 7-0 victory over Anamosa in a Class 2A District 9 semifinal Tuesday night at Tom Jenk Field of Commercial Club Park.
“Eli was outstanding tonight,” said Hummel, noting Green threw about 90 pitches and is available to pitch in Saturday’s district final. “He competed on the mound. He never really fell behind. He never got in a situation where he had to throw to their Nos. 2, 3, 4 guys, who are really good hitters, with guys on base. He avoided that all game long and that’s what you have to do in these types of games. You have to attack guys and get outs and he did that.”
The meal served Green well in his second outing against the Raiders. He struck out six and didn’t allow a single runner to reach third base. Hummel said Green’s velocity was clocked between 84 and 87 miles per hour during the game, registering 4 to 7 mph more than the last meeting.
“I was really loose,” Green said. “I warmed up before the game really well. I think the adrenaline of the district game plays a huge factor, too. Then having a week off of throwing and bullpen in between I was ready to go.”
The Cougars’ offense provided an early cushion, with a 4-0 lead. Jack Menster opened with a double and Green walked. Kaleb Topping reached on an error to score Menster. Tanner Simon added a single and Cade Rausch followed with an RBI double.
“It gives our guys confidence and sinks them a little bit,” Hummel said. “You could see the enthusiasm come out of them a little. They were nearly as much in the game after that.”
Simon led the Cougars with two hits and scored twice, coming in after a leadoff triple in the third to make it 5-0. Mason Otting had a run-scoring double in the two-run fifth and Jack Carr came in to pitch a scoreless seventh for Cascade.
Green improved to 6-1 overall and lowered his 1.51 regular-season earned-run average. He also increased his season strikeout total to 74 in 43 innings pitched. Green has allowed just 11 runs all season and held opponents to a .099 batting average before Tuesday.
He was efficient against the Raiders, allowing just one leadoff batter on base.
“I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes for the first part,” Green said. “Weak contact against guys. There were two that were hit hard, but that weak contact is huge for being efficient and keeping pitch-count down. I think that helped me a lot.”
Anamosa finished the season 20-20. Sam Wilt reached base twice and Eli Lehrman, Nolan McLean, Jared Nelson and Jake Jess had one hit apiece for the Raiders.
BECKMAN ESCAPES IN EXTRA INNINGS
Owen Huehnergarth delivered a bases-loaded single to deep right field, scoring Luke Schieltz and capping 10th-ranked Dyersville Beckman’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Northeast in the bottom of the ninth of the Class 2A District 9 semifinal Tuesday night at Jenk Field of Commercial Club Park.
Beckman (20-14) will host Cascade (19-9) for the district title here Saturday.
Huehnergarth stepped to the plate with none out. Schieltz opened the ninth with a single. Nick Schmidt walked and Nick Offerman executed a bunt single to set up the walk-off opportunity.
The Blazers trailed 2-0 through the first 6 ½ innings. They rallied in their last at-bat of regulation to force extra innings. Jackson Oberbroeckling led off with a double and scored on a single by Schieltz. Logan Burchard reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a Offerman sacrifice fly to tie the game, 2-2.
Luke Sigwarth had two hits to lead the Blazers.
Northeast ends the season at 12-15.