116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa City West Coach Charlie Stumpff compared his team to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Trojans resembled more of the good doctor from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Monday night.
The Trojans played clean baseball and produced timely hits, sweeping Class 4A fourth-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie in a Mississippi Valley Conference baseball doubleheader at West. The Trojans scored two in the sixth for a 3-1 victory in the opener and used a seven-run fifth for a 9-3 win in Game 2.
This was a time they played well against a highly-ranked team and finished with victories.
“This was getting wins,” said Stumpff, noting a 2-0 loss to No. 2 Pleasant Valley. “We’ve played some really good teams tough and then some days we forget what we’re doing out there. It’s a unique group, but we’ve gotten a lot better from the start of the year.”
West improved to 16-10 overall and 11-9 in the MVC. The sweep could be a springboard for more consistent play, even though they face another ranked team this week.
“We’ll just enjoy it,” Stumpff said. “You hope it is.”
In the opener, the bottom of the West lineup produced runs in the opener. Noah DeSaulniers, the No. 9 hitter, hit his first home run with a solo leadoff shot in the third. The batters directly in front of him contributed in the fifth.
Cade Adkins had a sacrifice fly that scored John Syata, who was running for Marcus Morgan after being hit by pitch to start the frame. Schuyler Houston added an RBI single for the last run. Alex McKay had two hits to lead West in Game 1.
“We’re not going to Bronx bomb anybody,” Stumpff said. “We have to piece it together and hope we have it.”
Morgan came in to pitch the seventh, retiring the Hawks in order with a strikeout for the save.
The all-state right-hander and University of Iowa signee picked up where he left off, starting the nightcap. He allowed just one run and three hits in four innings, surrendering a solo home run to Maddux Frese that broke a scoreless tie in the third.
Stumpff praised Morgan’s performance, telling him in the middle innings he would close the first game, if they had the lead.
“It was a much shorter turnaround, getting ready to go,” Stumpff said. “He’s got a slider, which he did, he’s really good. Other than that, there wasn’t a lot of balls hit hard.”
West scored two in the bottom half of the inning. The first one came in fluke play where Ryne Vander Leest was hit in the face by the double-play relay throw, sliding into second. Houston scored. Mitch Frey’s sacrifice fly scored Nate Gudenkauf for a 2-1 lead.
Frey came up big in the big fifth inning in the nightcap. He ripped a two-run single after the Trojans led off the inning with two walks and a hit batsman. West took a 4-2 lead and never looked back.
Stumpff said Frey has come a long way from his first week, whiffing on breaking balls before they even reached the plate as a sophomore. He finished with three RBIs.
“Mitch has been phenomenal,” Stumpff said. “Now, he recognizes them and sits on them. He’s old school and chokes up with two strikes. He finds a way to make good contact.”
Ian McAreavy, Adkins and Houston also added RBIs in the inning that 13 batters reached the plate.
Caden Harrison had three hits and an RBI single in the fifth to lead Prairie (23-5, 18-4).