116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Here are Gazette area players and teams to watch as the 2022 Iowa high school baseball season starts Monday.
Players to watch
Austin Hilmer, sr., North Linn — Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 1A first-team all-state, state record 75 stolen bases, batted .439, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 28 RBIs, 70 runs, posted 10-1 record with 0.80 ERA, 73 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
Gable Mitchell, sr., Iowa City High — Iowa Print Sports Writer Association 4A third-team all-state, second-team all-district, first-team all-MVC Mississippi, batted .352 with .454 OBP, 45 hits, 41 runs, 30 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, went 2-0 with 3.18 ERA, Iowa signee.
Alex Neal, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — IHSBCA 3A first-team all-state, first-team all-MVC Valley, posted 9-0 record with 1.56 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, 86 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched, batted .378 with .476 OBP, 45 hits and 43 RBIs, Iowa Western signee.
Cade Obermueller, sr., Iowa City High – IPSWA 4A third-team all-state, first-team all-MVC Mississippi, first-team all-district, posted 4-1 record with 1.65 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 36 strikeouts in 292/3 innings, batted .319 with .479 OBP, Iowa signee.
Boede Rahe, sr., Marion — IHSBCA 3A second-team all-state, first-team all-Wamac, posted 11-0 record with 1.07 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, 90 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings pitched, held opponents to .196 batting average, Kirkwood signee.
Brandon Vlcko, sr., Cedar Rapids Prairie —IHSBCA 4A second-team all-state, first-team all-MVC Mississippi, batted .374 with .480 OBP, 46 hits, 28 RBIs, six runners caught stealing.
Tyson Cota, sr., Lansing Kee — IHSBCA 1A second-team all-state, batted .408 with .468 OBP, 60 hits, 19 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 52 runs, went 8-2, 1.49 ERA, struck out 71 in 65 2/3 innings.
Dylan Davis, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy — MVC Valley Player of the Year, IHSBCA first-team all-state, led 4A and tied for state lead with 13 home runs, batted .466 with 55 hits, 16 doubles, 3 triples, .966 slugging percentage, 53 RBIs and 114 total bases.
Myles Davis, soph., Marion — IHSBCA 3A second-team all-state, first-team all-Wamac, batted .496 with .565 OBP, 70 hits, 16 doubles, 51 runs, 48 RBIs, posted 7-0 record with 2.47 ERA, struck out 36 in 28 1/3 innings pitched, Kirkwood signee.
Sam Wilt, sr., Anamosa — IHSBCA 2A first-team all-state, first-team all-River Valley Conference, second in 2A with 11 home runs, batted .495 with .629 OBP, 54 hits, 16 doubles, 52 RBIs, 48 runs, 107 total bases.
Keegan Schmitt, sr., Independence — IHSBCA 3A first-team all-state, first-team all-Wamac, batted .436 with .513 OBP, 58 hits, 38 RBIs, 37 runs and 10 doubles.
Brett White, soph., Solon — IHSBCA 3A second-team all-state, first-team all-Wamac, batted .356 with .491 OBP, 48 hits, 18 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, 56 RBIs, 45 runs.
Jabari Dobbs, sr., Cedar Rapids Washington — Second-team all-MVC Mississippi, first-team all-Metro, batted .365 with .507 OBP, 38 hits, 29 runs, 26 walks, 27 stolen bases, went 2-2 with 2.19 ERA, 55 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings pitched.
Cal Sullivan, jr., Cedar Rapids Prairie — Second-team all-MVC Mississippi, batted .336 with .496 OBP, five home runs, 36 hits, 37 runs, 36 RBIs.
Mason Behn, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy — First-team all-Metro and second-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference, batted .313 with .451 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, 22 RBIs, 40 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched, 4.03 earned-run average.
Caleb Wulf, sr., West Liberty - IHSBCA 2A first-team all-state, batted .520 with .596 OBP, 39 hits, 13 doubles, 5 triples, 33 RBIs and 21 runs, posted 3-2 record with 1.41 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings pitched.
Owen Huehnergarth, sr., Dyersville Beckman - Second-team all-Wamac and IHSBCA all-district, batted .333 with .436 OBP, 37 hits, 46 RBIs, threw out 18 of 27 runners attempting to steal.
Cade Molyneux, sr., Sigourney - IHSBCA 1A second-team all-state, batted .471 with .617 OBP, 32 hits, 12 doubles, 37 runs, 33 stolen bases and 24 RBIs.
Teams to watch
Iowa City High — The Little Hawks are loaded with talented. They have arms, bats, experience and depth. All the ingredients for a special year after a 2-1 substate final loss to host Ottumwa. City High has a deep staff with Cade Obermueller, Alex Knudtson, John Klosterman and Gavin Koch accounting for 16 wins in 25 starts. The Little Hawks return most of their offense that averaged more than seven runs a game.
Lansing Kee — The Hawks added to their tremendous baseball tradition, reaching the 1A state title game last season and increasing their state record to 17 state finals appearances. They return all but one player, including the top three in hits and runs (Tyson Cota, Damon Weber and Dalton Dibert). Cota and Dibert anchor a pitching staff that returns all 35 wins from a year ago.
Lisbon — The Lions made a deep run last season, reaching the 1A state quarterfinals. Lisbon returns everybody from a group that only had two juniors, including every at-bat and inning pitched. The Lions have the talent and experience to have another strong season, including a shot to repeat as Tri-Rivers Conference East Division champions.
Solon — The Spartans were runners-up in a loaded Wamac East Division sandwiched between Marion and Dyersville Beckman. Solon won 29 games and was a win shy of state, falling to Cedar Rapids Xavier in a substate final. The Spartans return their top four hitters — Blake Timmons, Brett White, Gehrig Turner and Kinnick Pusteoska — who combined for 185 hits, 153 runs and 172 RBIs. Timmons will also spearhead the pitching staff, going 5-2 with a 2.05 earned-run average last year.
Cedar Rapids Prairie — The Hawks graduated a talented group of seniors that powered them to the Class 4A state semifinals. Prairie still returns a strong group from last year’s Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division and Bob Vrbicek Metro tournament champions. Pitching could be a concern with a senior-heavy group a year ago. Brandon Vlcko, Cal Sullivan and Noah Day are the top three hitters back. Maddux Frese is an all-around weapon who will make a difference for Prairie.
Cedar Rapids Xavier — The Saints made a state semifinal appearance last year. They return strong pitching and experience with starter Alex Neal and Iowa commit Drew Proskovec. Experience at the top of their lineup will lead the way. Three of the top five in hits from last year are back in Neal, Aidan Henry and Brody Hoffman. Xavier will lean heavily on veterans to help bring along some talented newcomers.
Dyersville Beckman — The perennial 2A power is always a top contender in Eastern Iowa. The Blazers continue to reload. Beckman reached the substate finals last season, falling to Camanche in a wild back-and-forth game. Luke Schieltz and Owen Huehnergarth led the team in hits and are back. Nate Offerman is among six of the top seven from last season. The top three pitchers from 2021 graduated but the Blazers have three back with 20 or more innings pitched.
Marion — The Wolves claimed the 3A state title last season. They bring back key components, including all-state ace Boede Rahe, shortstop Myles Davis and catcher Kaden Frommelt. Returning starters Jaqson Tejada, Jake Trca and Cael Hodges provide a strong nucleus for a team that seems poised to extend its string of state tournament appearances.