116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City High’s baseball team will be playing a Class 4A state tournament game sometime Tuesday at home, specifically Banks Field on the University of Iowa campus.
Will Cade Obermueller be playing that quarterfinal game with the Little Hawks?
“We’ll see, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be playing, yeah,” the senior southpaw said, after his pitching and hitting helped the second-ranked Little Hawks past Bettendorf, 8-0, Wednesday night in a 4A substate final at Mercer Park.
Obermueller gave professional scouts some good final video to watch of him, giving up two singles, a walk and no runs over his 5 1/3 innings of starting mound work. He struck out 13, including four in the second inning when a Bettendorf hitter reached first on a strike-three wild pitch.
He’s not a big kid at all, 6-foot or perhaps a bit shorter, but he has an easy motion that pumps a moving 90s fastball, and his father, Wes, pitched in the big leagues. The 2022 Major League Baseball Draft begins with the first and second rounds Sunday night, continues with rounds three through 10 on Monday afternoon and concludes with rounds 11 through 20 on Tuesday afternoon.
So, theoretically, Obermueller could be playing a state tourney game at the very same time he gets drafted by a major-league club. Who knows?
“I’m just letting it happen,” he said. “It’s crawled up on me real fast. I wasn’t even in any talks last year. I’m just going to let it happen, whatever happens.”
He suggested going to Iowa might turn out to be his best bet.
“I mean, I’m looking to go to college,” Oberumueller said. “I think that’s where I’ll be my best. I mean, I only weigh 150 pounds, and I’ve got a lot more to go. I’m a little bit behind there. But it is what it is. I’ll be happy either way.”
City High (31-8) qualified for state for the second time in three years, scoring runs in five of their six innings with at-bats. The Little Hawks picked up 12 hits, two each by Obermueller, all-state shortstop Gable Mitchell and eight/nine hitters Drew Carlson and Grant Ernst.
That’s a good sign heading into next week.
Joey Bouska singled up the middle leading off the Little Hawks first and scored on a Mitchell single to center. Mitchell scored on Obermueller’s double to the right-center gap for an early 2-0 lead.
“I thought Joey Bouska got us started today, and that was a really important first inning,” said City High Coach Brian Mitchell. “Just to get some momentum. Those games can go (bad) when you don’t get runs early, everybody gets a little tighter.”
“I think the biggest thing is we’ve gotten the hits, (now) we’ve got to get guys in when we had runners in scoring position,” Gable Mitchell said. “We had 12 hits, we probably should have had close to 12 runs. We got eight, it was decent. But there were a lot of opportunities to get more runs early.”
The fact they get to play the state tournament at home isn’t lost on them. It’s an advantage, absolutely.
“I’d say it’s kind of a dream come true,” Gable Mitchell said. “You grow up dreaming of that, and now it’s in Iowa City, which makes it that much more special. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”
“I’m just thinking about this team. I mean, I want to win a state championship,” Obermueller said. “That’s been my goal since I was a little kid. I’m going to let nothing get in the way of that.”
Bettendorf had its season finish with a 15-21 record.
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